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

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra 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.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7537
JPY
USD
103.79
GBP
USD
0.6032
CAD
USD
1.0957
INR
USD
60.522

Rates may not be current.