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Rhythm & Hues deal intact: Chunghwa Telecom

TAIPEI--Chunghwa Telecom Co., Taiwan's largest telecom operator, said Wednesday that its partnership with Rhythm & Hues Studios Inc. remains unaffected despite reports that the award-winning visual effects company is facing financial difficulties.

“I don't think there will be any significant changes in our relationship in the near term,” Chung Fu-kuei, president of Chunghwa Telecom's data communication business group, told CNA.

Rhythm & Hues' branch in Kaohsiung is still leasing computing equipment from Chunghwa Telecom to generate its special effects, and the two companies are also working together on cloud-based applications, he said.

The future of the long-term technical cooperation between the two companies, however, will depend on how the U.S. parent company of Rhythm & Hues adjusts its strategy, Chung said.

But he did not expect Chunghwa Telecom's business to be greatly affected by whatever strategic changes the studio makes.

Rhythm & Hues' Kaohsiung branch could not immediately be reached for comment. The company is closed this week as Taiwan celebrates the Lunar New Year holiday.

Chunghwa Telecom and Rhythm & Hues signed a memorandum of understanding in November 2012 to set up a joint venture to make Taiwan a cloud computing hub.

The project, called Cloud for Animation and Visual Effects, will play an important role in meeting the growing demand for cloud computing services in the global visual effects market, the companies said.

The Los Angeles Times reported on Feb. 11 that Rhythm & Hues, which worked on Taiwan-born director Ang Lee's “Life of Pi,” is seeking bankruptcy protection from creditors.

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