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


- The Shanghai-listed arm of China Unicom is to issue the mainland's largest corporate bond. China United plans to undertake a third phase of CDMA network expansion in the second half of this year. Brokerages have expressed concerns over an expected fall in average revenue per user for CDMA following the launch of pre-paid services, as well as the high cost of handset subsidies.

- Nokia merges its four joint ventures in China to streamline operations, paving the way for production of CDMA handsets for Asian markets. The move was mainly an administrative one, with production continuing at the four locations of the joint ventures founded in the mid-1990s with local Chinese partners, while new headquarters would be set up in Beijing.


- China's packaged software market grew 19.5% last year to generate sales of almost $2 billion with a further tripling expected within five years. It is the lowest growth rate posted in China but improved business conditions would see the market grow at a compound annual rate of 25.8% from now to 2007, IDC said in a report.

- Sun Microsystems postpones one of its biggest annual events in China - the SunNetwork Asia Conference and Pavilion. Preparations for the fair, scheduled for the coming weekend at the Shanghai International Convention Centre, had been under way for several months. The event would have seen the largest gathering of top Sun executives in China.

Information Technology

- China's WTO entry expected to spur a boom in IT outsourcing services in both Hong Kong and the mainland. HP’s managed services division, HP Services offers outsourcing as a way for multinational corporations to set up their business quickly and without considerable initial capital investment. EDS, IBM, Fujitsu and PCCW are also increasingly looking to capitalize on the growth north of the border.

A week in Taiwan tech


- Taiwan's government to offer 500 million shares in Chunghwa Telecom to local investors from April 10 after it failed last month to sell 100 million shares, betting investors will be attracted by an imminent dividend. Taiwan will offer the stake, valued at NT$27 billion at NT$54, between April 10 and April 16, the Taiwan Stock Exchange said.


- Advanced Semiconductor Engineering receives Taiwan government approval to invest $15 million in a diode plant in China. Taiwan approved the application to build a plant producing light-emitting diodes, which convert electricity to light and are used in digital displays, Advanced Semiconductor said.

- IBM to make a next-generation graphics chip for Nvidia, winning business away from Nvidia's long-time partner, TSMC. US-based Nvidia had previously contracted only TSMC, the world's largest contract chip manufacturer, to produce the graphics chips used in Microsoft's Xbox game console, personal computers, laptops and workstations.

A week in Singapore / Malaysia tech


- Telekom Malaysia is considering the purchase of a stake in Excelcomindo Pratama to help expand business in the region, chief executive Mohamad Khir Abdul Rahman said. In December last year, Telekom lost to Singapore Technologies Telemedia in a bid for 42% of Indonesian Satellite (Indosat), the main international call operator and owner of the second-biggest cell-phone company.

A week in Hong Kong tech

Mobile / Wireless

- Motorola signs contract to upgrade the force's communications infrastructure. The $69 million deal with the Hong Kong Police Force is expected to give the police one of Asia's most advanced command-and-control communications systems.

Venture Capital / Investments

- Hutchison Whampoa sells $1 billion in 10-year bonds in hours. Hutchison had to offer a yield that was far higher than equally rated American industrial companies to get bond fund managers to take up the issue. The coupon offered by Hutchison compares with an average spread of 110 basis points over Treasuries for US industrial companies with a similar single-A rating.


- Varitronix International to reserve cash for possible acquisitions. Chairman Chang Chu-cheng said last week that Varitronix could require a cash reserve. The LCD maker has not made any acquisitions since listing in 1991. Varitronix had HK$716 million in cash, accounting for about half of the company's market value. Varitronix announced a 157% profit surge to HK$111 million last year.

Information Technology

- Van Shung Chong Holdings the first customer in Asia to implement Oracle E-Business Suite on Linux. The company hopes to save more than 50% of its annual IT budget by running its business-critical Oracle applications on Linux. The new Oracle E-Business Suite replaced several legacy systems running on PCs and Unix servers.

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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