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Acer acquires stake in 3rd-party payment platform

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- In a move to position itself in the third-party payment platform market, Acer (宏碁) yesterday announced its plans to form an alliance with PChome (網路家庭), by which it will acquire a 15.6-percent stake in PChomePay (支付連), the online payment processing arm of the Internet portal operator.

Acer said on Tuesday that it will become PChome's strategic shareholder, with an acquisition of ownership stake via the capital increase method. According to the Central News Agency (CNA), Acer is purchasing 7 million shares in third-party online payment gateway PChomePay in an apparent shift from the computer maker's hardware-centric business model.

The "strategic partnership" means that the Taipei-based computer maker will hold 15.6 percent of shares in PChomePay, which was established in March 2012 as a platform for online trading.

PChomePay said it will increase its market capitalization to NT$450 million (US$15 million) from its current NT$380 million after the completion of Acer's investment.

In a statement, Acer said the investment better positions it to take advantage of future opportunities in Internet transactions.

"Under the ICT industry's paradigm shift, Acer is going beyond hardware-based thinking; the investment in e-commerce and our self-built cloud is our important deployment of 'hardware plus software plus services' transformation," Acer Chairman Stan Shih (施振榮) was quoted in English as saying in a statement.

The move also marks the first in-depth collaborative effort between the two companies. Previously, Acer had only supplied its products to be sold on numerous online marketplaces operated by PChome.

According to Acer, PChomePay will be able to utilize its proprietary cloud-computing solutions in establishing the service's secure payment gateway. Acer also expects to develop more platform-based software and value-added services.

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