News / Economy

HTC Faces Taiwan Insider Trading Probe

Man walks past an advertising board of Taiwan's smartphone maker HTC Corp. in Taipei, Taiwan, October 25, 2012.
Man walks past an advertising board of Taiwan's smartphone maker HTC Corp. in Taipei, Taiwan, October 25, 2012.
Ralph Jennings
U.S.-based computer giant Apple and its chief Taiwanese competitor, HTC, have settled a series of patent lawsuits involving, among other things, the iPhone. But, since the two consumer electronics companies made the unusual announcement on Sunday, Taiwan's stock market authority has started investigating why once-troubled HTC share prices shot up to their daily limit.

The Taiwanese firm, whose name stands for High-Tech Computer, watched its global smartphone market share grow to 8.5 percent at the end of 2010, with sales revenues growing to match. It had joined a league with Apple’s iPhones, the Blackberry and handsets by Korean giant Samsung. But as global sales grew, the Taiwanese company got snagged in 20 legal cases involving patent infringements over design of Apple's signature iPhones and some of HTC's top models.

On November 11, the two litigants released a statement saying that all lawsuits had been dismissed. They did not give details on the settlement deal, but announced a 10-year license agreement for current and future patents held by both companies.

John Brebeck, senior adviser with the Taipei-based Quantum International Corporation, says the deal with Apple lets HTC make phones without worrying about another lawsuit. But he warns that the agreement does not guarantee success.

“At least they’re going to be able to ship their products.  They’ll be able to do business as usual and, as a result, they have a level of predictability in their business," Brebeck says. "I don’t think it means that they’re back in the game in terms of being able to knock off Apple or Samsung or even gain market share on them, because they have to bring out a competitive product.”

HTC had made a name for itself by selling smartphones that run on Microsoft Windows and Google Android software. It also cut into Apple's market share with lower prices. The company’s sales abroad had become a talking point for Taiwanese officials eager to show that the island's tech firms are reaching consumers after doing mainly lower-profile contract work for three decades.

But HTC’s global market share had dropped to four percent in the last quarter, because of new iPhone releases plus strong competition from South Korea's Samsung smartphones. HTC revenues slipped 23 percent in the same period.

The company’s problems may not end there. On Friday, the final business day before the settlement deal was announced, HTC share prices rose seven percent, the most it can legally gain in one trading day. Share prices lost 50 percent in the current year.

Because of the sharp change, the Taiwan Stock Exchange launched a probe, according to its rules, following sharp stock market movements. Exchange spokesman Michael Lin would not give details of the investigation, but called Friday’s share price change unusual. HTC denies local media reports that it was involved in insider trading.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9238
JPY
USD
119.51
GBP
USD
0.6614
CAD
USD
1.2119
INR
USD
63.562

Rates may not be current.