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April 29, 2017

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Taiwan in talks with Intel, Cisco to set up IoT centers: report

Taiwan's government is in talks with several multinational high-tech firms on the establishment of centers for Internet of Things (IoT) development, the Chinese-language Commercial Times reported on Monday.

The daily based in Taipei said that Taiwan's Asia Silicon Valley Development Agency (ASVDA) has started negotiations with five to six U.S. high-tech firms, including semiconductor giant Intel Corp., networking services provider Cisco System Inc. and IT services firm Hewlett Packard Enterprise on working with Taiwan to develop IoT.

The ASVDA seeks to transform Taiwan into an Asian Silicon Valley under the supervision of the government, part of the industrial policies launched by the Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) Administration to upgrade Taiwan's industry and spur economic growth.

Citing ASVDA chief executive officer Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫), the report said the talks between the agency and the U.S. tech giants could lead to the signing of a memorandum of understanding as soon as June, enabling them to establish an IoT foothold in Taiwan.

The Taiwan government assigned a budget of NT$11.3 billion (US$373 million) for the Asian Silicon Valley plan for 2017 after ASVDA was established at the end of last year, the report said. According to the report, the agency has been keen to seek private sector partners at home and abroad under the leadership of Kung and chief investment officer Wong Chia-sheng (翁嘉盛).

U.S-based software developer Microsoft Corp. and smartphone chip designer Qualcomm Inc. have already signed MOUs with the Ministry of Economic Affairs to work with Taiwan on the development of IoT.

Kung said that cooperation with multinational high-tech firms is expected to help the local industrial sector integrate resources dedicated to IoT development, while the participation of foreign firms provides a channel to market Taiwan's innovation globally.

As of the end of March, a total of 140 local enterprises had established an IoT alliance which is expected to pave the way for future international cooperation, the report said.

Members of the alliance include the world's largest contract electronics maker Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (鴻海), IC designer MediaTek Inc. (聯發科), PC brand Acer Inc. (宏碁), telecom services provider Chunghwa Telecom Co. (中華電) and industrial computer maker Advantech Co. (研華).

Kung said in the report that the alliance aims to push IoT development in a wide range of applications such as smart homes, smart transportation, smart medical care and smart logistics.

As part of the Asian Silicon Valley plan, Taiwan aims to have 5 percent of the global IoT market by 2025, the agency says on its website.

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