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December, 4, 2016

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HTC shares soar on HTC Vive, wearable device sales

TAIPEI -- Shares of Taiwan-based smartphone brand HTC Corp. (宏達電) jumped sharply Friday morning after the company reported strong sales of its new virtual reality headset and wearable devices, dealers said.

The stock soared to NT$89.9 (US$2.72) at one point during the session as investors took cues from HTC's report of its global pre-order sales of the Vive headset.

When pre-orders started on Feb. 29, HTC sold 15,000 units of the virtual reality headset within 10 minutes.

The company's shares were also boosted Friday by its report of a warm response by consumers to the "UA HealthBox," a health management device package it developed jointly with Under Armour.

As of 11:03 a.m., shares of HTC had soared 9.16 percent to NT$89.40, with 30.14 million changing hands on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The weighted index on the main board was up 0.26 percent at 8,633.87 points.

The HTC Vive, jointly developed by HTC and U.S. video game supplier Valve, was unveiled at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) show in March 2015. The headset is equipped with tracked controllers that allow wearers to inspect objects from every angle and interact with their surroundings.

With the release of the Vive, HTC is seeking an alternative sales source amid escalating competition in the global smartphone market.

The HTC Vive is priced at US$799, lower than an earlier market estimate of US$1,500.

Former Swiss President Adolf Ogi, who is leading a trade delegation to Taiwan, expressed amazement at the Vive's features, which he tried during a visit to HTC headquarters Thursday, accompanied by HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang (王雪紅).

Wang said additional software for the HTC Vive will be launched at the Game Developers Conference (GDC), the world's largest professionals-only game industry event, which will be held March 14-18 in San Francisco.

The HTC Vive's pre-order bundles include the real-life simulation game "Job Simulator," the building game "Fantastic Contraption," and Google's painting application "Tilt Brush," which allows users to paint in 3D in the space around them.

Meanwhile, HTC said its first shipment of health management wearable devices, jointly developed with UA and launched on Jan. 22, have sold out. HTC said it is speeding up shipment of the next batch to meet strong market demand.

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