Taiwan's elite stepping out of the shadows
Years ago, Taiwanese products may have been deemed as low-cost, poor-quality alternatives. Today, that is anything but the case as Taiwan now boasts many of the world's tech elite with companies such as Acer, ASUSTeK, BenQ, D-Link, et al, all attaching their names to innovative products in a bid to build global brands.
TAITRA, Taiwan's External Trade Development Council, was founded in 1970 to promote Taiwan's foreign trade and competitiveness in world markets. Today, it states that "Taiwan is successfully blending technical innovation, high-quality design and name recognition - getting credit where credit is due".
That certainly holds true at this year's CeBIT, where nearly 500 exhibitors are Taiwanese companies. A selection of big names, notably Jerry Shen (CEO of ASUSTeK), Queenie Chian (EMEA sales deputy manager of GIGABYTE) and Joseph Lin (global strategic marketing manager at Thermaltake) were on hand to announce new products at TAITRA's "hottest products" press conference.
Emphasising Taiwan's tech-growth, ASUS' Shen announced the company's new Eee PC 900 and highlighted the Eee PC's impact on the market since its October 2007 launch. Similarly, GIGABYTE announced its M700 UMPC and M529 MID, further demonstrating Taiwan's innovative new products.
It wasn't, however, a completely flawless show for Taiwan-based companies. Following TAITRA's press conference on Wednesday, 12 Taiwanese booths were raided by German police who carried out their biggest-ever investigation at the CeBIT show, raiding some 51 booths in total.
The raids, carried out due to suspicion of displaying products that infringed on other companies' patents, involved Taiwanese companies such as E-Lead Electronic Co., Zinwell Co. and GIGABYTE Technology Co.
Though the companies insist on being non-guilty of patent violations and continue to participate at CeBIT, the raids won't come as welcome news to TAITRA.
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