When HTC chief executive Peter Chou said this month that he was on the lookout for further acquisitions, he wasn’t kidding. The Taiwanese smartphone company on Tuesday announced it had acquired Inquisitive Minds, a US company that developed Zoodles, a kids-friendly browser designed to give children a safe browsing environment. Read more
Google announced on Wednesday that it is spending more than $200m to build its first proprietary data centres in Asia, a move that reflects the growth in demand for internet and cloud-based services in the region.
These are not, of course, Google’s first servers in Asia, though they are the first in the region where Google is publicly disclosing their locations. They will also be the first that Google will build from the ground up, from acquiring the land to designing the customised servers. Read more
If MiCloud had been launched this week in the US, it would have been just the latest entrant into the growing market of cloud-based services aimed at developers and small companies, a la Amazon’s Elastic Computing Cloud.
But the venture, a joint effort by MiTAC, one of the world’s biggest IT distribution and systems integrators, and Joyent, whose cloud services power LinkedIn, had its debut in Taiwan. There, it makes the claim of being the island’s first public cloud service. Read more
It is no secret that HTC is keen to move beyond hardware manufacturing to online services and content – it had earlier acquired or partnered with, variously, a games provider (OnLive), a mobile video specialist (Saffron Digital), an e-books company (Kobo), and a music streaming service (Taiwan’s KKBox).
But its ambitions may range further still. Cher Wang, HTC chairwoman, recently revealed for the first time that the Taiwanese smartphone maker had considered acquiring a mobile operating platform. Read more
Taiwan’s Asus has been a keen early supporter of Intel’s ‘Ultrabooks’, with chairman Jonney Shih appearing on stage with Sean Maloney, head of Intel China, to make the announcement and show off the first model in May.
The vision was for these thin, responsive notebooks to revolutionise the traditional PC industry, which has come under increasing challenge from smartphones and tablets. Intel’s ambition is for ultrabooks to make up 40 per cent of the consumer notebook PC market by the end of next year.
Yet the reality, Asus’ chief executive Jerry Shen said on Friday, is that a 40 per cent share is “a very aggressive target that would be difficult to meet before 2013”. Read more
Reverberations from HP’s announcement that it intends to shed its PC business, the world’s biggest by volume, is being felt far and wide across the global IT industry. While no clear buyer has yet emerged, executives in the PC supply chain, analysts and even government officials are all trying to make sense of its impact.
Nowhere is this search for answers more urgent than in Taiwan, where much of the world’s PC supply chain resides. HP’s computers are assembled by Hon Hai, Quanta, Inventec and Wistron, all Taiwanese companies. Read more
Acer boosted its cloud computing capabilities on Thursday by announcing that it plans to spend $320m to acquire iGware, a US cloud computing company whose technology powers Nintendo’s WiFi Connection. Read more
Act one of Google’s spat with the Chinese authorities over censorship and government-backed hacking closed last year with Google partially retreating from the world’s most populous nation.
There was, however, still the unresolved issue of Google Maps, and act two of Google versus China may now be beginning with Google having submitted an application to Beijing to allow the service to remain in China. Read more
It may not be quite as serious as the Federal Trade Commission’s anti-trust probe in the US, but Google is facing a fight with the regulators in Taiwan that has forced the internet giant to suspend all paid apps in Android Market on the island of 23m people.
At issue is Taiwan’s consumer protection laws, which require online retailers to give customers a seven-day period for getting a full refund on their purchases – much longer than the 15 minutes Google currently gives its customers. Read more