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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7217
JPY
USD
102.17
GBP
USD
0.5949
CAD
USD
1.1009
INR
USD
60.326

Rates may not be current.