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Group suggests co-branding smartphones with mainland

TAIPEI--The Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (TEEMA) suggested yesterday that Taiwan and China work together to build co-branded smartphones to carve out a bigger share of the global market for the devices.

The TEEMA said the two sides of the Taiwan Strait could also take advantage of Taiwan's strength in information communications technology development and consider the possibility of co-developing 4G/5G communications devices and electric cars under shared brands.

Chen Wen-yi, secretary-general of the TEEMA, said Taiwan's private sector has expressed the willingness to cooperate with its Chinese counterpart at a time when Taiwanese businesses, which mainly provide ODM services, are seeing their bottom lines squeezed by fierce competition.

To reverse the unfavorable situation, Chen said Taiwan and China should team up to launch co-brands in high-tech devices to secure a higher profit margin and boost profitability.

In the initial stage, manufacturers from both sides should consider the possibility of setting up joint ventures to pave the way for developing co-brands in the future, he said.

Chen said Xiaomi Technology, one of China's top five smartphone suppliers, sources 80 percent of its components from Taiwan, and he believed this cross-strait cooperation could go deeper.

Chen was not the first person to urge industrial cooperation across the Taiwan Strait.

Former Vice President Vincent Siew has said that cooperation on co-branding and setting common standards is expected to boost investment in each other's businesses with the goal of grabbing a larger global share.

In addition, Chen Deming, president of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), repeatedly urged on a recent trip to Taiwan that co-brands could be built in a wide range of industries, such as electric cars, consumer electronics devices and light-emitting diode devices.

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