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China Times: Prepare for wave of layoffs

China Times: Prepare for wave of layoffs

Taiwanese smartphone vendor HTC Corp. announced last month that it was laying off over 1,000 workers. This week, it was reported that Wowprime Corp., a major restaurant chain operator in Taiwan, is also planning to cut its workforce. Meanwhile, U.S.-based group buying site Groupon announced that it will lay off its workers before winding up its operations in Taiwan. HTC and Wowprime are leading companies in Taiwan. Their problems reflect the plight currently faced by Taiwan's economy. Early this year, the government predicted that Taiwan's economic growth for 2015 could reach 3.78 percent. But exports began to fall in February, with the rate of decline exceeding 10 percent in the last three months. The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics has lowered its economic forecast to 1.56 percent and is likely to cut it further. The economic downturn triggered by the export decline will gradually expand to domestic demand and job markets. Unless the downward trend in the export sector is reversed soon, the country's unemployment rate is likely to rise by the end of this year. Another worrying sign is seen in Taiwan's personal computer industry. According to a report by market intelligence firm IDC, global PC shipments dropped by 6.7 percent in the first quarter and further declined by 11.8 percent in the second quarter. Taiwan's leading PC vendors -- Acer Inc. and ASUSTek Computer Inc. -- saw their shipments fall by 27 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively, in the second quarter. Although Acer's revenue reached NT$60.2 billion in the second quarter, its net income after taxes was only NT$2 million. All these figures demonstrate the plight of the global PC industry and highlight the decline in the competitiveness of Taiwan's industry. Chinese computer giant Lenovo recently announced a plan to lay off more than 3,000 workers. Although Acer and ASUSTek have not announced any massive layoff plans, their future development is worrisome unless they adapt to change as soon as possible and enhance their competitiveness. (Editorial abstract -- Sept. 24, 2015) (By Y.F. Low)


Updated : 2021-06-22 19:35 GMT+08:00