Hon Hai announces plan for cloud-based center in Kaohsiung


TAIPEI–Hon Hai Group, the world’s largest contract electronics maker, will set up a cloud-based technology center in Kaohsiung in a bid to enter the software development market, government sources said Saturday.

Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn Technology Group, will invest NT$1.9 billion (US$62.3 million) to build the cloud technology center and a software research and development site in the Kaohsiung Software Technology Park, according to the Export Processing Zone Administration under the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The Kaohsiung cloud technology center is scheduled to break ground on Dec. 1 and to be completed in two to three years, government sources said.

The Kaohsiung Software Technology Park is operated by the Export Processing Zone Administration and is part of the government’s efforts to transform Kaohsiung, the second largest city in Taiwan, into a regional operation hub.

Hon Hai, which churns out iPhone and iPad for Apple as well as gadgets for other high tech giants such as Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Sony, signed an agreement with the government in June 2009 to rent a a 1.85-hectare piece of land in the Kaohsiung Software Technology Park for the investment.

The group has posted a notice on the Internet to hire about 3,000 engineers to integrate its manufacturing and the software development businesses. It plans to build a digital content and software service headquarters to develop a wide variety of products, such as wireless communications applications, electronics commerce platforms, and software for Internet security.

Hon Hai is one of many Taiwanese high-tech companies that are turning to cloud technology in an effort to use its value-added attributes to weather falling profit margins in the hardware manufacturing business amid fierce global competition.

Shen Jung-chin, head of the Export Processing Zone Administration, said Hon Hai’s presence in the Kaohsiung Software Technology Park is expected to serve as a magnet to attract more high-tech companies.

So far, about 200 firms have set up bases in the software park, according to Shen.

The Kaohsiung City government said it believes the move by Hon Hai to invest in the city will create more jobs and produce clusters of industries, which will eventually boost the city’s economy.