A week in tech; part 2

A round up of tech news in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

A week in China tech


- Legend, the mainland computer giant, takes aim at new international branding campaigning. Although the Legend brand has been in use for 19 years it has failed to generate sales abroad. In a step to meet corporate targets of 10% to 20% market share internationally by 2007, the firm will sell servers abroad under the Lenovo brand. The Lenovo brand is meant to portray value and an "innovative Legend".

Media, Entertainment and Gaming

- New World Infrastructure ("NWI") is planning to spend a further $100 million this year to give its digital television technology the ability to reach 20 million homes in China. NWI has already spent about $300 million in three years developing the digital TV platform technology and expects to have about 200,000 cable TV subscribers in Fujian province by the end of the year. The firm has recently received approval from Fujian's Radio, Film and Television Bureau to deploy its digital services platform in the province.

Mobile / Wireless

- China Mobile has quietly built out a nationwide fixed-line backbone network while awaiting the granting of a full telecommunication license by the industry regulator. A fixed-line network would enable the mobile carrier to compete with wired carriers on the domestic local voice and data access front. Management told analysts that the carrier had been developing its nationwide fixed-line network, including national Internet protocol (IP) backbone CMNet.


- Business integration specialist, WebMethods, is cranking up its expansion into China with an ambitious software development venture in Shanghai with BearingPoint. The two firms announced an agreement to widen their alliance and pursue joint software applications development work in the mainland.


- TCL International Holding, the Guangdong-based producer of television sets, mobile phones, and PCs, reported an 11% drop in profits, citing ferocious competition. That competition has likewise driven TCL's stock price down 45% since January, however these short-run concerns may not accurately reflect TCL's long-term prospects. Pricing wars in the industry may force accelerated consolidation and may ultimately benefit larger players such as TCL.


- China's telecommunications carriers posted a stronger-than-expected 20.3% year-on-year increase in first-quarter revenue to Rmb108.9 billion ($13.2 billion), according to the Ministry of Information Industry. The ministry expects the telecom market to grow 12.1% this year, versus 14.4% last year. Mobile revenue surged 31.8% to Rmb55 billion ($6.6 billion) in the first quarter, contributing 50.5% of the total. Revenue from data surged 74.2% from a year ago to Rmb6.5 billion ($0.7 billion), while fixed-line revenue grew 8% to Rmb35.2 billion ($4.3 billion), and revenue from long-distance calls fell 0.9% to Rmb11.7 billion ($1.4 billion). During the quarter, China added 26.9 million new telephone users.

A week in Taiwan tech


- Creative Technology, makers of digital entertainment equipment for PCs, announced results in line with expectations. Sales for the third quarter were $160.6 million as compared to sales of $193.4 million for the same quarter of last year. Creative achieved net income for the third quarter of $4.8 million, attributable to increased sales of PDE products including the Nomad® MP3 players and Webcams.

- Taiwan's Far Eastone has the island's first third-generation (3G) mobile video call. Far Eastone, one of five 3G licensees in Taiwan, paid NT$10.1 billion ($290 million) for its license.

A week in Singapore / Malaysia tech

Mobile / Wireless

- Malaysia's top cellular operator Maxis Communications expects its subscriber base to expand faster than industry growth after its merger with Time dotCom. Maxis completed the purchase of Time dotCom's cellular arm, TimeCel, paying M$1.3 billion ringgit ($348.7 million) in cash and undertaking to settle up to M$150 million in shareholder's advances.


- SingTel sold 60% of its Singapore Post unit in an initial public offering that was priced at the high end of the expected range. The 60% stake sale was expected to raise S$664.7 million ($381.9 million) in net proceeds for SingTel, or more, if an overallotment option were exercised that would bring the total stake sold to 69 per cent. SingTel also is set to receive S$200 million (US$112.8 million) in net dividends from SingPost. Investors snapped up 1.14 billion SingPost shares at the maximum price of S$0.60 a share. The amount raised for investors is S$684 million (US$393.1 million).

- Chungwha Telecom, has reapplied to regulators to issue 1.16 billion shares, or a 12% stake, in American depositary receipts (ADRs). Chunghwa first applied for the ADR issue in 2001 but was forced repeatedly to delay the sale due to poor markets and a slump in telecommunications profits worldwide.

A week in Hong Kong tech


- HCity Telecom recorded a HK$162.3 million ($20.6 million) profit from its IDD business on turnover of HK$468.6 million ($60 million), up nearly 4% from the same period last year. The operating margin of its core business rose to 26% from 23%, despite disruption caused by China raising interconnection fees last November. City Telecom also benefited from a 26% reduction in its fixed network loss in the first half. The company, which offers residential broadband and fixed-line services, narrowed its loss to HK$42.6 million from HK$57.9 million.

A week in tech is brought to you by FinanceAsia, and IRG, Asia's boutique investment bank to the telecoms, media and tech sectors. More can be found at:

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