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Minister's call for support for HTC draws mixed response

2012/08/11 18:32:04

Taipei, Aug. 11 (CNA) Economics Minister Shih Yen-shiang's call on Friday for more public support for Taiwan's smartphone maker HTC Corp. has evoked mixed response from netizens.

Some netizens posted messages saying they did not think they could identify themselves with the Taoyuan-based firm because HTC Corp. Chairwoman Cher Wang called the company a Chinese brand at an event in China.

Although HTC issued a statement in January saying that the chairwoman's remarks represented her personal opinion, "Wang's words broke my heart," a netizen said.

In addition, some netizens said that HTC's decision to use lower-level processors in their products in Taiwan caused them to hang back from making purchases or even turn to products made by rivals Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.

The HTC One S sold in Taiwan is powered by last year's Qualcomm dual-core Snapdragon S3 processor clocked at 1.7GHz, whereas the same model in Europe and North America comes with a 1.5Ghz Qualcomm S4 processor.

The smartphone maker rebutted the allegation that Taiwan consumers were being given inferior products, saying in a statement that the efficiency of both processors is equally outstanding.

While many netizens did not appreciate the minister's appeal, others supported it, saying that Taiwanese enterprises need fellow countrymen's support to grow steadily first and then target the global market.

HTC's factories and research and design teams are all based in Taiwan, and everyone should give constructive suggestions rather than hurling criticism, a netizen surnamed Liang said.

HTC is a rare Taiwanese brand competing in the global market, and we should be proud of our products, said Cindy Chang, another netizen who posted thoughts on the matter.

In response, HTC Saturday expressed gratitude to the public's support and encouragement, saying that it will take up more challenges in the future and do its utmost to build up a noted brand.

HTC released its revenue report for July, which fell 17 percent from June to NT$25.03 billion (US$835.48 million) amid fierce competition from Apple and Samsung. The July figure was also down 45 percent from a year earlier.

For the third quarter, HTC expects sales to range between NT$70 billion and NT$80 billion, a decline of 12 to 23 percent from the second quarter, because of falling product prices and a change in its product portfolio.

(By James Lee)