Record participation expected at Computex Taipei

By Richard Pearson, The China Post

The Computex Taipei 2001 is expected to count a record number of exhibitors, at 1,062 companies, and a number of important visitors from mainland China.

According to local mass media, mainland IT firms including Great Wall Broadband Network Service Co., Ltd. and computer giant Legend Group will attend the annual computer exhibition to be held June 4 – 8 at the Taipei World Trade Center. Computex Taipei is the largest IT event in Asia, and the third largest in the world following exhibitions in Germany and the U.S. As in previous years, the Computex Taipei exhibition will showcase the latest products and developments from the island’s information technology sector. Entering its 20th year, Computex Taipei is sponsored by the China External Trade Development Council and the Taipei Computer Association (TCA).

A report prepared by the TCA shows that most international computer giants have already set up purchasing offices in Taipei, and their annual purchases amount to nearly US$400 billion. Buyers to Computex Taipei are expected to put in some US$100 billion worth of orders on the spot and after the trade fair.

A report issued yesterday from the Central News Agency indicated that increasing numbers of buyers from Hong Kong have attended Computex Taipei in recent years and that most of the purchases they placed were actually made for IT manufacturers in mainland China. The number of overseas buyers in attendance has been increasing consistently in recent years and is expected to hit 30,000 this year, up 30 percent over last year, according to an article in the Economic Daily News. A Commercial Times report said that more than 80,000 people, including buyers, exhibitors, journalists, and others are expected to attend. With important computer industry officials from the mainland planning to attend, special attention has been placed on issues of cross-straits IT development.

A professional forum, e21 Forum Taipei, will highlight the computer trade fair. Executives of computer and computer related hi-tech firms from both sides of the Taiwan Strait will attend the seminar on e-commerce and Internet development and application. Competition between Taiwan and mainland China over information technology has heated up in recent years. An article in yesterday’s edition of the Economic Daily News said that competition has “become white hot” between the two sides.

The report indicated that Legend and Acer Group are squaring off for dominance in the mainland’s personal computer market. Currently Acer is the world’s eighth largest computer brand. Legend comes in at number ten. This year Acer has been actively expanding in the mainland China market further heightening competition with Legend.