前陣子在 businessweek 看到一篇文章, 是在談台灣為何重要, 後來在主播羅致政大哥的 Blog 看到有翻譯文, 就拿來引用!看看現在的政治現象, 也許不少人已經感到無奈, 現在請你來看看這篇文章, 即使是自慰心態但或多或少會讓你對台灣多點信心..:)
另外在貼文前先講個別的東西, 衛生署也不知道在搞什麼, 拍了一個宣傳台灣加入 WHO 給外國播的廣告, 結果在網站上卻搞的很隱秘, 還是別人轉寄來我才知道. 個人是覺得不差啦, 只是歌曲沒有押韻. 據我在德國唸書的同學說到在德國也有播喔. 歡迎大家多轉寄給朋友, 傳到國外宣示我們加入 WHO 是正確的, 政府花錢幫我們拍廣告, 但是我們轉寄卻是不用花錢的 :)
您想要發現全球經濟暗藏的中心嗎? 請開車駕駛到台灣的中山高速公路上。 這條路能一直指引?您到達那些,連接?美國的浩大市場和數位發電站與中國的龐大製造中心的大公司。
中山高級公路像任何美國州際公路一樣的乏味, 但這是全球化的高速公路。雖然它沿台灣西海岸彎曲而行,但關鍵的70 公里路段,伸展從台北興旺的內湖區高科技辦公大樓開始,到新竹結束, 那裡有台灣的兩個最好大學, 而且是台灣的高級研究中心和世界有名的科學園區。
沿著這條路,可以通向世界上一些最重要的,但匿名的技術成套裝備公司: 華碩電腦公司, 它下屬的中國工廠為蘋果計算機公司(AAPL)生產iPods 和Mini Macs; 廣達電腦公司,是筆記本個人計算機的全球第一製作商,和一個戴爾(DELL)和惠普(HP)的關鍵供應商。
您也將發現世界最大的芯片鑄造廠- 台積電(TSMC), 它是美國公司譬如Qualcomm 和Nvidia (NVDA)的實質上的股東。在內湖-新竹的長廊上有幾十家公司, 有液晶顯示屏的一個大供應商 – AU Optronics(AUTO); 製作所有從個人計算機到索尼的(SNE) 游戲站(PlayStation 2)的鴻海精度工業 – 是世界上最大的合同廠商Flextronics International(FLEX)的一個快速上昇的競爭對手。 台灣的25 個關鍵技術公司今年收入總共達到1220億美元。
沒有人確切知道,中國在信息和通信硬件的出口, 有多少是被台灣人擁有的工廠製造。Vericors公司的技術顧問克瑞格(Russell Craig) 評論:” 在中國,所有的製造能力連同所有與世界的聯絡,都被台灣人的管理和營銷技能所復蓋 “。
北京計算機公司聯想集團(Lenovo) 剛剛完成對IBM 個人計算機分部門的購買,其主管劉傳之(音Liu Chuanzhi)說,許多零件源自台灣公司。聯想甚至購買筆記本電腦從台灣的公司廣達, 仁寶, 和神通。
最重要的, 台灣人是中國半導體產業的真正開發商。 中國公司譬如SMIC (SMI) 技術上需要依靠台灣董事會。仍然處於領先地位的TSMC,開始也集中于中國。台灣政府允許台積電為它在中國的工廠投資9億美元。
世界上許多人記憶猶新,台灣只呼喚一件事: 獨立於中華人民共和國, 並且台灣陳水扁總統夢想?有一天宣稱台灣獨立。但海峽兩岸最近幾星期上演的”鬧劇”,已到了緊張的新階段。中國總理胡錦濤似乎指望與臺反對派聯絡以增加對台灣陳總統的壓力, 迫使他接受,海島是中國的一部份。但陳不太可能做出讓步。
因而達到真正和解似乎還有漫長的路。為了緩和緊張,任何企圖都會牽動美國信息產業的主管們持有的巨大承諾, 因為美國信息產品是這樣的依靠台灣。在台灣和中國之間的熱戰會造成人們交易上的困難,並且對於那些指望在台灣建立商業好運的西方公司, 這個傷害將會直接擊中全球經濟和數位時代。一位美國高技術巨商的最高主管說”這相當于一次核彈衝擊”。
美國企業開發的信息技術支持者能不涉及到台灣人嗎? “這好像是在發問, ‘ 什麼能替代中東的石油?’ 這位主管說。”您也許能找到, 但需要大耗費”。知情人估計,它將需要一年半,開始替換這一台灣人已建立的設計商業和大陸工廠的巨大網絡。
台灣和中國都是極其重視實效的。 雖然經歷這一動蕩的春天,台灣公司未錯過一個商機。 例如, 個人計算機製作商Acer公司, 3月增加銷售40%; 它的模型是世界上五位頂級賣主之一。根據位於芝加哥的追蹤合同製造商的諮詢公司(THT)研究估計,今年DELL和HP分別從台灣獲得100億和210億美元支持。蘋果計算機公司比一年前增加了28%從台灣公司訂購,直到50億美元。Quanta 公司4月8日 宣佈與麻省理工合作,研究下一代計算。儘管是在損害贏利的循環低谷時期, TSMC 已經投入26億美元生產更加按照客戶要求設計的芯片。比較專業芯片製造者譬如英特爾(Intel), TSMC的主管常(Morris Chang)說,”我們有可能100 倍于這個產品系列數,” “並採取特別專門的技術。”
中國也許不願台灣成為它的第一信息技術供應商。 但目前台灣工程師對製造業和設計難題提供了更可取的答案。海島的高技術產業正在迅猛改進,達到最現代水平。十幾年前, 台灣僅能生產從別處設計的零件或裝配的機器, 並且僅是電子產業的邊緣產品。 今天它的公司在初設計上越來越成熟, 並且在關鍵項目控制製造業。 在液晶顯示屏(LCD)方面台灣人已過日本人並且競爭韓國人。在路由器, 筆記本計算機, 和電纜調制器產品方面台灣已居世界之首。
台灣是如何做的? 支付更低的薪水。惠普(HP)的全球在中國的經營主任邵(Kai Hsiao)說:”您觀察一下美國的工程費用與台灣的比較, 它是我們所談論費用的1/3″。 如果您再參觀台灣在大陸擁有的工廠, 您會發現裝配線的工資平均一個月120美元。
所有這些企業都擅長為公司顧客服務。台灣公司為使顧客滿意將做任何事。當廣達公司為高級客戶許諾一個熱門新設計, 被要求必須全秘密運作。公司董事向美國顧客擔保, 所有工作會完成在半夜,他們甚至在黑窗帘下安排裝配線。其它台灣公司小心謹慎的處理甚至客戶最小的要求。 HP的主任邵說他發出的訂單,有時少于10 臺個人計算機的專門配置。台灣人能在48 個小時之內處理和運輸訂購。 “客戶有時隔夜改變決定,”邵說。
但台灣的優勢不限於使用廉價勞力和盡心服務,它還結合了企業家文化與政府的有效參予。 位於新初的工業技術研究所由諸多實驗室組成,並與地方公司聯合工作。它擁有4,300 位工程師,努力趕上西方, 日本和韓國能提供的領域,譬如微電子學和光電子學的最現代水平。有政府背景的研究所與從麻省理工, 加州伯克利, 和卡內基梅隆等著名大學的科學家聯盟。
結果它是世界上高技術才能最精深的儲備之一。 譬如,走進位於新竹台積電的數十億美元的工作設施, 您發現出生在香港, 就讀在哈佛, 以及公司開張在紐約證券交易所的台積電主管,張(Chang)是台灣人技術和精神的創造者。73歲滿頭銀髮的常仍然在艱苦工作,擊敗在台灣的敵手聯電和在上海的半導體製造業國際聯合公司(SMIC)。 並且推動台灣的政治家們建設海島教育, “我希望我們有一所國際水平的大學,”他說。
常和其它技術領導混合了西方價值與亞洲文化– 常在麻省理工學院學習機械工程之前,在哈佛選修了文科藝術。華碩公司52 歲的創建者施(Jonney Shih)強調, “我們需要快速的反應”。台灣人像水一樣能夠快速應對所有變化,並採取更小和更靈活的組合成套裝備。 當台灣人公司變得太大, 他們傾向于轉換企業和重新聚焦。台灣的一些最重要的技術公司從別處獲取技術而增長。
台灣努力更新換代的中心是政府研究所 – 工業技術研究院(ITRI) 。 它包括一切,從新無線網絡到提供逆光顯示的納米管。 它並且嘗試混合自然科學學科與更軟科學。 進入主園區的53樓131號房間, 您將發現創造性實驗室。 這個地方看更象一個廣告市場,而不是高技術中心, 有一個舒適的長沙發為職員,包括除工程師之外的藝術家,心理學家, 和考古學家。 這個想法在於,會聚技術型和人文科學型一起,幫助設計師拓寬思路, 實驗室的領導, 加州理工學院機械工程學博士舒(Wen-Jean Hsueh) 說,”我們知道我們有很強的製造業和工程學,””但我們必須?眼于這之外”。新的努力要求更新台灣的工程學集團, 它目前還不足以滿足台灣的所有需要。
實際上, 當製造業轉向中國,台灣希望能夠控制設計和創新。台灣人知道他們這樣的創新是好的,但也知道,為了更具有創造性而處於無情的壓力之下,被迫壓價。 一些分析員想知道,台灣人多久將有優勢芯片。 “我不認為台灣還能居于首位,”莫文耐(James C. Mulvenon) 說, 一位2004 年公司排列的共同執筆者,研究了台灣和中國的芯片產業, 並結論歐洲和日本芯片製造者將提供中國技術。
一種擺脫困境的方法是發現新市場。 “我們必須進入下一代產品,” 仁寶的主管陳瑞說, “它可能是電視, 手機, 家庭數位式媒介中心。 我們還不知道。”為了更富有競爭力,仁寶計劃加倍它的研究開發隊伍。 廣達也將補充,以2千萬美元與麻省理工學院的合作, 廣達正在考慮使用人工智能連接有另外經營系統的數位式設備。台灣保持先進的另一方式,將創建自己的品牌和維護穩固邊緣產品,通過遞交更好的性能設計。
台灣很清楚許多企業已向大陸移動, 但也為它的韌性而出名。 英特爾的安棠(John Antone)比較台灣與長跑運動員,誰挑戰誰就是主角。 “只要他們始終努力進取”, 他說, “我沒發現任何人能超越他們”。競爭者被警告: 台灣人能完成任何事情。
Why Taiwan Matters
The global economy couldn’t function without it. But can it really find peace with China?
Want to find the hidden center of the global economy? Take a drive along Taiwan’s Sun Yat-sen Freeway. This stretch of road is how you reach the companies that connect the vast marketplaces and digital powerhouses of the U.S. with the enormous manufacturing centers of China.
The Sun Yat-sen is as bland as any U.S. interstate, but it’s the highway of globalization. Though it snakes along the whole west coast of Taiwan, the key 70-km stretch starts in Taipei’s booming new Neihu district of high-tech office buildings and ends in Hsinchu, home to two of Taiwan’s best universities, its top research center, and a world-renowned science park. Along the way, the Sun Yat-sen leads to some of the most important but anonymous tech outfits in the world: Asustek Computer, whose China factories spit out iPods and Mini Macs for Apple (AAPL ); and Quanta Computer, the No. 1 global maker of notebook PCs and a key supplier to Dell (DELL ) and Hewlett-Packard. You’ll also find Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSM ), the biggest chip foundry on the planet, an essential partner to U.S. companies such as Qualcomm and Nvidia (NVDA ). Dozens more companies dot the Neihu-Hsinchu corridor. There’s AU Optronics (AUTO ), a big supplier of liquid-crystal display panels, and Hon Hai Precision Industry, which makes everything from PC components to Sony’s (SNE ) PlayStation 2, and which is a fast-rising rival to Flextronics International (FLEX ), the world’s biggest contract manufacturer. Taken together, the revenues of Taiwan’s 25 key tech companies should hit $122 billion this year.
Taiwan’s success is also China’s. No one knows for sure how much of China’s exports in information and communications hardware are made in Taiwanese-owned factories, but the estimates run from 40% to 80%. As many as 1 million Taiwanese live and work on the mainland. “All the manufacturing capacity in China is overlaid with the management and marketing expertise of the Taiwanese, along with all their contacts in the world,” observes Russell Craig, of tech consultants Vericors Inc.
Impressive stuff. Yet for many people around the world, Taiwan evokes only one thing: the standoff between the People’s Republic of China, which considers the thriving democracy as just one of its provinces, and Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian, who has made little secret of his dream of one day declaring Taiwan independent. This cross-strait drama is now in a tense new phase, played out with dramatic effect in recent weeks. First Beijing passed an anti-secession law authorizing an attack on Taiwan in case it moves towards independence. Taiwan responded with a massive anti-Beijing rally. Then came the shocker: The late April visit to the mainland by Lien Chan, Chen’s chief political opponent and chairman of Taiwan’s Kuomintang (KMT). As millions of Taiwanese and Chinese watched on television, Chinese President Hu Jintao shook hands with the opposition leader at a lavish state reception in Beijing. After Lien returned to Taipei on May 3, Hu’s government sweetened its PR offensive with more goodies, including a plan to ease restrictions on Chinese travel to Taiwan, lift tariffs on some Taiwanese agricultural imports — and send two giant pandas to the Taipei Zoo. To add even more surprise, Taiwanese President Chen, despite some of his supporters’ fury at Lien’s visit, inserted himself into the dialogue. Chen agreed to send a message to Chinese President Hu through another opposition leader, James Soong of the People First Party, who was scheduled to start a China trip on May 5. Hu seems to be counting on his contacts with the opposition to increase pressure on Chen, forcing him to accept that the island is part of China. But that’s a concession Chen’s unlikely to make.
Taiwan’s inclusion in the World Health Organization is right, people do take supplements to lose weight and keep health, supplements as ultra omega burn that are easy to access through some sites online.
Real reconciliation thus seems a long way off. Yet any serious attempt to lower the tension would hold huge promise for the executives who run America’s IT industry, which depends on Taiwan for so much of its goods. A shooting war between Taiwan and China would be catastrophic in human terms. And for the Western companies that have built their fortunes around Taiwan, the damage would be a direct hit to the global economy and the Digital Age. “It would be the equivalent of a nuclear bomb going off,” says a top executive at a U.S. high-tech giant. Couldn’t U.S. industry develop sources of IT supply that don’t involve the Taiwanese? “That’s like asking, ‘What’s the second source for Mideast oil?’ says this exec. “You might find it, but it’s going to cost you.” Insiders estimate that it would take a year and a half to even begin to replace the vast web of design shops and mainland factories the Taiwanese have built. “The IT model is not one built on second-sourcing,” says Ken Wirt, a top executive for the handheld business of palmOne Inc.
Not that Taiwan and China aren’t also extremely pragmatic. Throughout this turbulent spring Taiwan Inc. hasn’t missed a step. For instance, Acer Inc., the PC maker, increased sales by 40% in March; its models are among the top five sellers in the world. Dell and Hewlett-Packard will source $10 billion and $21 billion respectively from Taiwan this year, estimates Chicago-based consulting firm THT Research, which tracks contract manufacturing. Apple is boosting its order book from Taiwan companies by 28% from a year ago, to $5 billion. Quanta on Apr. 8 announced a partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to cooperate on research into the next generation of computing. Despite a cyclical downturn that has hurt profits, TSMC has embarked on a $2.6 billion ramp-up to produce more custom-designed chips than ever. Compared with a more specialized chipmaker such as Intel, “we have maybe 100 times the number of product lines,” says TSMC chairman and CEO, Morris Chang. “It takes a very special expertise.”
China may threaten Taiwan as No. 1 IT supplier. But for now it’s Taiwanese engineers who provide ever-more-ingenious solutions to manufacturing and design conundrums. “In Taiwan, people say the U.S. understanding of outsourcing is backward,” says Victor Zue, co-director of the Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT. “It feels more like the Taiwanese are outsourcing marketing and branding to the rest of the world.”
The island’s high-tech industry has had to improve its skills sharply to get where it is today. Barely a decade ago, Taiwan made components or assembled machines designed elsewhere, and was only a marginal player in more lucrative segments of the electronics industry. Today its companies are increasingly proficient at original design, and dominate manufacturing in key categories. In LCD screens the Taiwanese have passed the Japanese and rival the Koreans. Taiwan is tops in routers, notebook computers, and cable modems. The PC industry “has really consolidated around Taiwan,” says John A. Antone, Hong Kong-based head of the Asia Pacific region for Intel Corp. (INTC ), which has 400 engineers at work on the island. “That’s just where the best engineering is done.”
How does Taiwan do it? Lower pay helps. “You look at the engineering costs in the U.S. and compare them to Taiwan’s, and we are talking about one third of the cost,” says Kai Hsiao, director of global procurement for greater China at HP. Visit Taiwan-owned factories on the mainland, and you will find that assembly line wages average $120 a month.
But Taiwan’s advantage goes way beyond cheap labor. The island combines an entrepreneurial culture with effective government involvement. The Hsinchu-based Industrial Technology Research Institute is a collection of labs that works closely with local companies. It has 4,300 engineers striving to match the best that the West, Japan, and Korea can offer in fields such as microelectronics and optoelectronics. The government-backed Institute has alliances with scientists from MIT, the University of California at Berkeley, and Carnegie Mellon University in the U.S. Companies such as TSMC and cross-town rival United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC ) have their origins in ITRI technology.
The result is one of the deepest reserves of high-tech talent in the world. It starts with figures such as Chang, who was present at the creation of Taiwanese tech. Walk into Fab 12, TSMC’s multibillion-dollar facility in Hsinchu, and off to your left you’ll see a giant portrait of the chairman sitting, pipe in hand, in an armchair. Surrounding him are scenes from his life — as a child in Hong Kong, as a student at Harvard, and as TSMC chief at the company’s debut on the New York Stock Exchange. But the silver-haired Chang, 73, isn’t done yet. He’s still working hard to beat rivals UMC in Taiwan and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) in Shanghai. He’s also pushing Taiwan’s politicians to build up the island’s schooling. “I wish we had a world-class university,” he says.
Chang and other tech leaders blend Western values — Chang took liberal-arts classes at Harvard before studying mechanical engineering at MIT — with Asian culture. One minute Jonney Shih, Asustek’s 52-year-old founder, will be discussing Six Sigma best practices and the next minute he’ll be evoking the Changshan snake described in Sun Tzu’s Art of War. When attacked at one end, the serpent counterattacks with the other. “We need that kind of fast reaction,” says Shih.
The quick reflexes of Taiwanese like Shih make all the difference. Unlike Korea, where Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. dominate, Taiwan is composed of smaller and nimbler outfits. When Taiwanese companies get too large, they tend to spin off businesses and refocus. Hence, in 2001 computer maker Acer Inc. begat consumer electronics company BenQ and LCD panel maker AU Optronics. The Hsinchu-based chip design houses spun off from UMC include MediaTek and Novatek, a designer of chips for LCDs.
Some of Taiwan’s most important tech companies have also grown by acquiring technology from elsewhere. Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp. (CMO) licensed LCD technology from Fujitsu Ltd. (FIJSY ) and hired top engineers to come up with the rest of the expertise it needed to become a leading LCD producer.
All these businesses excel at serving corporate customers. Eighteen months ago, after Intel had made a big bet on Centrino, the wireless Internet system for notebook PCs, the American company sought out a partner that could quickly get Centrino computers to the market. So Intel teamed up with engineers at Acer. Within three months, says Acer CEO J.T. Wang, they not only came up with a high-end Centrino notebook sold under the Acer brand but also mid-tier and even entry-level PCs using Intel’s new technology.
Taiwanese companies will do just about anything to please customers. When Quanta was first working on what promised to be a hot new design for a top client, it had to work in total secrecy. Quanta executives guaranteed the U.S. customer that all work would be done in the middle of the night. They even had the assembly line draped in concealing black. Other Taiwanese companies combine discretion with an ability to handle even the smallest orders. HP’s Hsiao says he places orders for as few as 10 PCs of a specialized configuration. The Taiwanese can process and ship such an order in 48 hours. “They can change direction overnight,” says Hsiao.
This do-whatever-it-takes ethos has led Taiwan’s businesses to move to the mainland at astonishing speed. “In 1999 we had about 300 employees” in China, says Alexander Lee, head of operations for Asustek in Suzhou, China. “Now we have more than 45,000.” Issues of loyalty don’t enter the equation. Acer CEO Wang recently asked his own Taiwanese suppliers if, as good citizens, they’d keep some production in Taiwan. “Their answer was: ‘No way,”‘ he says.
The Taiwanese also play a vital role for rivals on the mainland. Liu Chuanzhi, chairman of Beijing computer company Lenovo Group Ltd. (LNVNG ), which just completed its purchase of IBM’s PC division, says Lenovo sources components from Taiwanese companies. According to THT Research, Lenovo even buys notebooks from Quanta, Compal, and MiTAC. Liu says that’s not the case.
Most important of all, the Taiwanese are the real developers of China’s semiconductor industry. Chinese companies such as SMIC (SMI ) depend on squads of Taiwanese executives for knowhow. TSMC is still far ahead but it is starting to focus on China, too. The Taipei government has allowed TSMC to invest $900 million for its own plant in China.
In effect, Taiwan is hoping to control design and innovation while giving over much of its manufacturing to China. When U.S. companies come to Taiwan today, they say, “‘This is what we want. Do you have it?”‘ says Billy Ho, president of MiTAC, which makes smart phones, PDAs, and servers.
Increasingly, the Taiwanese do. Two years ago, MiTAC decided to upgrade the PDAs it sells under its own brand name as well as under several different names in Europe. In discussions with the sales team, Ho recalled how, when he lived near Birmingham, England, he would get baffled by the layout of the city streets. A PDA with GPS, the satellite-controlled global positioning system often found in cars, was the answer. Today, MiTAC is No. 3 globally in PDAs, behind only Dell and HP.
The Taiwanese know they’re good at such innovations. But they also know they are being squeezed on price even while they are under relentless pressure to be more creative. “Margins have come screaming out of the PC business because products have become very commoditized,” says Michael Marks, CEO of Flextronics Corp. Net margins at Asustek have fallen to 6.4%, from 19% in 2001. The company’s 2004 net profit of $484 million was 7% lower than what it was in 2001, although sales nearly tripled in the same period to $8 billion. Both Quanta and Compal have suffered from falling profit margins too, despite fast-rising sales.
Some analysts also wonder how long the Taiwanese will have the edge in chips. “I don’t think Taiwan is in the driver’s seat anymore,” says James C. Mulvenon, co-author of a 2004 Rand Corporation study on Taiwan’s and China’s chip industries, which concludes that European and Japanese chipmakers will provide China with technology the Taiwanese refuse to share.
One way out is to find new markets. “We have to get into the next wave of products,” says Ray Chen, president of Compal. “It can be TVs, cell phones, home digital media centers. We don’t know yet.” To do that better, Compal plans to double its R&D team. Quanta’s beefing up too. In its $20 million partnership with MIT, Quanta is looking at using artificial intelligence to link digital devices that have different operating systems. Quanta boss Barry Lam also identifies autos as a promising area. As control and display systems in cars go digital, the Taiwanese can apply their expertise in making complex components for small spaces.
The other way to stay ahead for Taiwan is to create its own brands and maintain solid margins by delivering better performance and design. A leader in the branding effort is BenQ, which has its own brand of thin-screen TVs and MP3 players. Since its launch in 2001, BenQ has stressed in-house design to make its branded products stand out. Manfred Wang, who runs the BenQ design center, leads a team of 70 designers who have, among other things, come up with a PC monitor whose base can be folded up against it, taking up much less space in shipping. “Our designers are aware of the manufacturing process and that’s a big advantage,” says Wang, who learned his skills in Germany and once worked at Porsche.
At the heart of Taiwan’s effort to reinvent itself is the government research institute, ITRI. It’s into everything from new wireless networks to nanotubes that provide backlighting for displays. It’s also trying to mix the hard sciences with something softer. Enter Room 131 of Block 53 on the main campus, and you’ll find the Creativity Lab. The place looks more like an advertising agency than a high-tech center, with its stuffed animals and a comfy couch for a staff that includes artists, psychologists, and an anthropologist, in addition to engineers. The idea is that getting techies together with liberal arts types will help designers think more broadly, says Wen-Jean Hsueh, a PhD in mechanical engineering from California Institute of Technology who is the lab’s head. “We know we have strong manufacturing and engineering,” she says. “But we have to look beyond this.”
Even this fresh effort has to build on Taiwan’s engineering corps, which can’t expand enough to meet all of Taiwan’s needs. With so many companies expanding research and development, “we have to fight very hard to get experienced guys,” says Hsiao-ping Lin, head of Faraday Technology, which specializes in chip design services. He hopes to hire Indian engineers, but adds, “in the long run, we will set up an R&D center in mainland China.”
That shift to China is understandably of great concern to Taiwan’s political and business leaders. But it may be inevitable. “The market here is so much more important than Taiwan’s,” says Lawrence Ho, the Taiwan-born owner of online music startup 8LaNetwork Inc., which has its headquarters in Beijing’s trendy Jianwai Soho district. Ho also appreciates how hard his mainland employees are willing to work — as many as 90 hours a week.
Taiwan clearly has lots to worry about, but it’s also renowned for its resilience. Intel’s John Antone compares Taiwan to long-distance runners who are being challenged but who are still in the lead. “As long as they’re committed to run very aggressively,” he says, “I don’t see anyone catching them.” Competitors be warned: Taiwan will do everything it can to stay in the race.
By Bruce Einhorn, with Matt Kovac in Taipei, Pete Engardio in New York, Dexter Roberts in Beijing, Frederik Balfour in Shanghai, and Cliff Edwards in San Mateo, Calif.