HTC stock falls amid R&D defection claims


TAIPEI — Shares of HTC Corp. fell Monday amid grim news reports about the company, including the defection of a senior executive who played a leading role in the smartphone manufacturer’s software research and development (R&D).

As of 11:30 a.m., HTC shares had dropped 2.50 percent from the close of the last session to NT$253 (US$8.547), while the Taiwan Stock Exchange weighted index rose 0.36 percent.

The local business daily Commercial Times said in a front-page report Monday that former HTC Vice President Chen Hsueh-chun joined Taiwanese technology firm AsusTek Computer Inc. in February to be one of its chief technology officers.

Chen, one of the engineers who helped develop HTC Sense interface, left HTC late last year, the report said. The daily also said HTC is being troubled by setbacks in acquiring adequate camera lens and metal casing supplies for its popular flagship model — the New HTC One.

AsusTek confirmed Sunday that Chen joined its research team last month, the report said, adding that Chen is expected to help beef up AsusTek’s R&D capability in communication technology and software. The Commercial Times said AsusTek, which replaced Dell as the world’s fourth largest laptop brand last year, is determined to make inroads into the smartphone mainstream market this year after having launched the PadFone, which combined tablet and handset technologies, to test market response.