Qualcomm Taiwan operations hub to be inaugurated early 2019

08/25/2018 04:17 PM
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Taipei, Aug. 25 (CNA) U.S.-based chip designer Qualcomm Inc. is scheduled to open a new operations center in Taiwan in early 2019 as part of the American firm's commitment to invest in the country over the next five years.

Jim Cathey, senior vice president and president of Qualcomm's Asia Pacific and India operations, announced on Friday that the company will set up a Center for Operations, Manufacturing Engineering and Testing (COMET) in Taiwan as a hub for the firm to extend its reach overseas.

Cathey said Qualcomm has built close business ties with Taiwan and setting up a local operations hub demonstrates the company's strong support for the country in wireless communications development, which it expects to deepen the relationship.

However, no details were provided on the location of the COMET or the financial terms for the investment.

The announcement came after Qualcomm and Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) reached a settlement on Aug. 10 over an antitrust dispute, as a result of which the company paid a NT$2.73 billion (US$88.63 million) fine, considerably lower than the record NT$23.4 billion fine initially imposed by the commission in October 2017.

The settlement was reached at Taiwan's Intellectual Property Court, where Qualcomm filed an appeal against the FTC's initial fine.

Under the settlement agreement, Qualcomm pledged to invest US$700 million in Taiwan over the next five years, an investment plan which will cover 5G collaboration, market expansion, startup and university collaborations, and the creation of an operational and manufacturing engineering center in the country.

While many market observers questioned whether Qualcomm will deliver on its commitment to invest US$700 million, the FTC said earlier this month that Qualcomm will complete the first stage of the investment by the end of next year. However, the financial terms for the first stage of the investment remain unknown.

According to Qualcomm, Taiwan has a well-developed semiconductor industry, which has served as a center providing upstream microchips for the supply chain in the Asian region.

Qualcomm said the planned COMET shows the company's determination to grow with Taiwan's semiconductor industry and build a 5G ecosystem in the country.

Qualcomm said it will soon launch a recruitment campaign to hire talent for the operations hub in a bid to provide better services to its business partners and clients in the industry.

Lo Ta-sheng (羅達生), head of the Department of Industrial Technology at the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), hailed the settlement soon after the agreement was reach, saying the agreement is expected to offer Taiwan an opportunity to expand discussions on 5G development collaboration with Qualcomm, which controls many key 5G wireless network development technologies.

The FTC said the MOEA and the Ministry of Science and Technology should sit down with Qualcomm to work out investment details for the five-year plan.

(By Chang Chien-chung and Frances Huang)


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