Global Dispatches

An international IT news digest

Chinese IT Policies Raise U.S. Concerns

BEIJING -- Technology policies that limit foreign companies' access to China raise doubts about the Chinese government's commitment to World Trade Organization guidelines, according to a global report on trade barriers issued by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

The report, issued last week, covered more than 60 foreign markets. It criticized China for pursuing "unique national standards that could lead to the extraction of technology or intellectual property from foreign rights holders" and for draft regulations mandating purchases of software produced in China.

In addition, the USTR's report took the Chinese government to task for interfering in "commercial negotiations over royalty payments to intellectual property rights holders in the area of 3G standards" for advanced wireless networks.

The report did note, though, that China has made some progress in revamping its laws to strengthen intellectual property protection. Efforts to contact Chinese officials for comments about the report were unsuccessful.

-- Sumner Lemon, IDG News Service

HP Spends Big on IT Equipment in Taiwan

TAIPEI -- Hewlett-Packard Co. last year spent $18 billion (U.S.) in Taiwan to procure IT components and systems, the head of the company's Taiwan operations said late last month.

HP outsources production of handheld devices and desktop and laptop PCs to companies in Taiwan, said Rosemary Ho, managing director of HP Taiwan, during groundbreaking ceremonies for four chip plants that Powerchip Semiconductor Corp. is building in Taichung, Taiwan.

HP accounted for 39% of the $45.72 billion worth of electronics products that Taiwan-based companies exported last year, according to a report by the Taiwanese government.

In comparison, Dell Inc. sourced about $5 billion worth of IT gear from companies in Taiwan last year, according to the report.

-- Dan Nystedt, IDG News Service

Korean FTC Probes Qualcomm, Partners

SEOUL -- South Korea's Fair Trade Commission is examining the business dealings between Qualcomm Inc. and three handset makers in that country, the San Diego-based chip maker disclosed last week.

Qualcomm said that officials from the commission visited the offices of its South Korean subsidiary last Tuesday, as well as those of phone makers Samsung Electronics Co., LG Electronics Inc. and Pantech & Curitel Communications Inc.

The U.S. company described the questioning as an inquiry, not an official investigation, and added that the South Korean commission didn't explain the reason for its visits. In a statement, Qualcomm President Steve Altman said the company's business practices "are lawful and pro-competitive."

-- James Niccolai, IDG News Service

Briefly Noted

  • Dimension Data PLC has won a three-year contract worth $40 million Australian ($29 million U.S.) from the South Australia state government. Johannesburg, South Africa-based Dimension Data will provide monitoring, administration, support and repair services for South Australia's network and firewall infrastructure.

    -- Computerworld Today (Australia) staff

  • Sanyo Electric Co. plans to apply for Japanese government help to rebuild its semiconductor unit's facilities in Niigata, which was badly damaged by an earthquake in 2004. Sanyo, which is in the midst of a restructuring, will also turn the chip unit into a subsidiary, tentatively named Sanyo Semiconductor Co.

    -- Martyn Williams, IDG News Service

  • SAP AG has agreed to acquire Virsa Systems Inc., a maker of enterprise risk management software in Fremont, Calif., for an undisclosed price. SAP said Virsa's tools are designed to help users ensure continuous compliance with regulations.

    -- China Martens, IDG News Service

Global Fact

  • 851,735

The total number of PCs sold in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in 2005.

Source: IDC, Framingham, Mass.

Compiled by Mike Bucken.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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