IBM to set up mobile e-commerce R&D center in Taiwan

Dec 03, 2003 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Electronics and Computers Ι By Quincy, CENS
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Taipei, Dec. 3, 2003 (CENS)--IBM Taiwan yesterday announced plans to set up a mobile e-commerce R&D center in Taiwan to cash in on the island's strong potential in the development of such business.

Jason Hsu, general manager of IBM Taiwan, estimated that the new center would generate an annual production value of about NT$13 billion (US$382.35 million at US$1: NT$34) by providing both software and hardware products and services.

George Wang, director of IBM China software development laboratory and IBM China research and development laboratory under IBM Greater China Group, said that IBM has a R&D staff of 1,000 in the Greater China region (including Taiwan, mainland China and Hong Kong) and the figure would be expanded to 1,500 next year. In the rising Asia-Pacific market, Wang added, the Greater China region would become the global citadel for IBM's software development.

Industry sources said that both IBM's Greater China software development center, which was established four years ago, and the new mobile e-commerce center in Taiwan represent IBM's strong ambition to expand its presence in the Greater China market.

The sources added that IBM's software R&D center in Taiwan is currently the largest of its kind set up on the island. The center now has a R & D staff of 300, which has experienced an annual growth of 30% over the past four years.

According to Hsu, the new mobile e-commerce R&D center in Taiwan will continuously introduce the world's most advanced pervasive computing development technology into the island, and will cooperate with local information appliance (IA) makers and software developers in providing integrated mobile e-commerce total solutions (including hardware, software and services) to customers in the future.

Hsu said that one-tenth of IBM Taiwan's total employees, about 1,500 people, are conducting R&D-related works and the Taiwan general manager urged local companies to jointly develop a strong software line on the island.

Hsu stressed that IBM expects to inject all the relevant resources concerning the company's Greater China software development into Taiwan and help the island become an international platform to meet any demand from the global market, a vision dubbed "Taiwan on demand."

According to Wang, IBM started software development business in 1983 with initial works concentrating on personal computer product development and Chinese-language software products. In the past few years, he added, the local software R&D center has transformed into a supply center for interface software products adopted and marketed by IBM globally.

Many representatives of IBM's long-term cooperation partners in Taiwan participated in a ceremony held to celebrate the fourth anniversary of its Greater China region software R & D center, including those of the Institute for Information Industry (III), Shinewave International Inc., Symbio Systems Inc., and International Integrated Systems, Inc. etc. All of the local partners expressed high recognition of IBM's long contribution to the island's software industry development.

The partners anticipated IBM to utilize the resources of its Greater China software R&D centers and the new e-commerce center to help accelerate the development and transformation of Taiwan's software industry to further consolidate the island's role in the international IT industry value chain.
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