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Taiwan turning into top IT rival

  PLAY AUDIO

July 26,2005
Taiwan is gaining on Korea much faster than expected in the information technology industry. Taiwan is churning out liquid crystal display screens, cell phones and dynamic random access memory chips at ever faster rates. Its production of large LCD screens exceeded Korea’s in April and May. “Although Korea is expected to have slightly recovered in June, Taiwan is expected to beat Korea in the second half of this year,” said an official at Displaybank, a research company for the LCD market. Behind the fast growth of Taiwan’s IT industry are companies’ active facility investment and the Taiwanese government’s support. “Although Taiwan’s IT industry is weak at core technology, they quickly adapt the technology,” said Park Beon-soon, a senior fellow at Samsung Economic Research Institute. In the latest sign that Korea is losing ground, Taiwan was chosen instead of Korea to host the first academic conference on system-on-chip technology, also known as SoC, in November. SoC technology can put systems with all the necessary functions on a single, integrated chip. Taiwan now makes up to 20 percent of the global semiconductor design market, including SoC, exceeding Korea’s share. Taiwan had 36 percent of the global LCD market in 2003, 4.7 percentage points less than Korea. But last year, Taiwan had narrowed the gap, taking a 40.1 percent market share while Korea had 42 percent. In the mobile phone market, Taiwanese companies have also emerged as strong competitors. Last month, BenQ Corp. of Taiwan took over the cell phone unit of Siemens AG of Germany, the fourth-largest handset maker in the world last year. Taiwanese companies’ market share in the DRAM industry has also jumped to 14.2 percent last year from 4 percent in 2001. by Lee Hyun-sang


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