Pegatron chair named Asian business newsmaker

01/02/2018 06:35 PM
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Taipei, Jan. 2 (CNA) Tung Tzu-hsien (童子賢), chairman of Taiwan-based contract electronics maker Pegatron Corp., has been named one of nine business newsmakers in Asia by Japan's Nikkei.

In a report posted on its website Monday, Nikkei said as a smaller rival of Taiwanese manufacturing giant Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. in the assembling of iPhones, Tung's Pegatron is seeking "a bigger bite of the Apple."

Although Pegatron rolls out lower-end iPhone models for Apple with Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn in the global market, in charge of larger iPhones including the premium iPhone X, Tung is looking for more orders from Apple, Nikkei added.

According to Nikkei, Pegatron, which is similar to Hon Hai, depends on Apple for more than 50 percent of its total sales.

However, Tung is now gearing up to push Pegatron's metal casing subsidiary Casetek Holdings Ltd. to improve production technology, win orders from Apple and become part of the U.S. consumer electronics giant's supply chain, Nikkei said.

Nikkei said Pegatron currently uses metal casings and frames provided by another Taiwanese firm Catcher Technology Co., to meet orders from Apple.

"But, 2018 might be the year Casetek finally supplies backs for iPhones, if Apple decides to release an iPad-like handset sporting a liquid crystal display and metal back" after Tung's efforts to improve Casetek's competitive edge.

"This would help Tung's group emulate Foxconn's business model -- supplying metal casings and frames for iPhones while offering assembly services -- and start to close the gap (with Hon Hai)," Nikkei reported.

Nikkei said as long as Casetek starts to supply iPhone casings, Pegatron is expected to receive a boost to its bottom line since the components command a higher profit margin than assembly.

In the first nine months of last year, Pegatron's earnings per share stood at NT$4.24 (US$0.14), compared with NT$5.22 over the same period the previous year.

According to Nikkei, other business newsmakers on the list include Indonesian tycoon Erick Thohir, Philippine tycoon Dennis Uy, Dalian Wanda Group Chairman Wang Jianlin, Samsung Electronics Chief Strategy Officer Young Sohn, and Suphachai Chearavanont, the youngest child of Thai billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont.

(By Frances Huang)

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