Taiwan still seeking vaccine cooperation: ministryPOLAND DONATION? Following negotiations among diplomatic personnel, Poland would evaluate the possibility of donating vaccines to Taiwan, the Liberty Times reported. Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Joanne Ou speaks at a news conference at the ministry in Taipei on May 11,2021. The US and Japan have also donated millions of vaccine doses to Taiwan. Slovakia last month said it would donate 10,000 doses to Taiwan through the European Civil Protection Mechanism, while the Czech Republic also pledged to donate 30,000 doses to Taiwan.
Nanya Technology Corp chairman Wu Chia-chau poses for a photograph in Taipei on May 6. In addition, DRAM demand is being propelled by 5G infrastructure, 5G handsets, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies, as those devices are equipped with much bigger memory, he added. As a result, Nanya Technology expects the DRAM industry is moving toward healthy development in the third and fourth quarters of this year. Nanya Technology last month said that it was not sure whether the price increases would be sustained in the final quarter of this year. To fuel growth, Nanya Technology is developing 10-nanometer technologies, with its second-generation 10-nanometer chips scheduled to start small-volume production soon, Wu said.
COVID-19: NPIs critical to containing COVID-19 spread: expertsBy Lee I-chia / Staff reporterAside from boosting the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage, implementation of nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) is key to controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, as the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 spreads around the world, infecting even fully vaccinated people, public health experts said yesterday. Researcher Jen Hsiao-hsuan explains the effectiveness of various nonpharmaceutical interventions in limiting the spread of COVID-19 during an online broadcast yesterday hosted by National Taiwan University College of Public Health professor Tony Chen. Screen grab by Wu Po-hsuan, Taipei TimesBreakthrough cases refer to people testing positive for COVID-19, despite being fully vaccinated for at least 14 days. The data suggest that even in places where the vaccination coverage is relatively high, the Delta variant can still cause a small surge in cases, Chen said. While Taiwan has lowered the nationwide COVID-19 alert to level 2, it should continue to implement NPIs as a key measure to contain the virus, especially in the face of the Delta variant spreading around the world, he added.
Chailease buys COVID-19 insurance for all employeesBy Crystal Hsu / Staff reporterChailease Holding Co (中租控股) has bought COVID-19 insurance for all its 4,000 local employees and Taiwan-based family members of those stationed abroad, the firm said yesterday. Chailease, the nation’s top capital leasing service provider, said it would also offer paid leave for those receiving COVID-19 vaccines, as well as disburse quarantine hotel expenses. The program is necessary due to a local outbreak of COVID-19 and continued spread of the virus throughout Asia, the company said in a statement. Chailease has also collaborated with its affiliated biotechnology company Protect Life (保生生醫) in donating COVID-19-related medical supplies to local communities, it said. Chailease attributed the trend to capital leasing demand on local and overseas markets.
Tsai and other Ministry of Justice officials said that the extradition was another successful case of judicial cooperation with a European country. From left, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu, Slovak Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei Representative Martin Podstavek and Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang hold copies of the Arrangement Between Taiwan and Slovakia on Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters at a signing ceremony in Taipei on Tuesday. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he and other ministry officials could not visit Poland, so they had to communicate via e-mail, Lin said. “It was not easy to make arrangements, because Taiwan in May had a surge in local [COVID-19] infections. It was our job to ensure that all prevention measures and safety guidelines had been followed,” Lin said.
E.Sun Financial posts record-high fee incomeBy Kao Shih-ching / Staff reporterE.Sun Financial Holding Co (玉山金控) yesterday posted record-high net fee income of NT$10.41 billion (US$374 million) for the first six months of the year on the back of growing wealth management and brokerage businesses, but its credit card business lost steam amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The financial conglomerate’s wealth management operations generated a net fee income of NT$4.85 million in the first six months, up 2 percent year-on-year and the highest level ever, E.Sun Financial told an investors’ conference in Taipei. E.Sun Commercial Bank chairman Joseph Huang speaks to reporters in Taipei in an undated photograph. Net fee income from its brokerage, E.Sun Securities Co (玉山證券), advanced 93 percent year-on-year to NT$1.9 billion in the first six months, also a record high, thanks to more investors participating in the local stock market, the company said. However, the local COVID-19 outbreak did not affect the corporate banking business, as many of the bank’s corporate clients are trade-oriented and the nation’s exports remained strong, Huang said.
Firms question national space plansFLAWS? While the Space Development Act (太空發展法) has been promulgated, its supervising agency, the Ministry of Science and Technology, did not present a clear road map for space development, forum organizer and Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chung Chia-pin (鍾佳濱) said. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chung Chia-pin yesterday waves to other participants in an online forum about space technology development. It should seek opportunities in international cooperation for the local space industry, and develop launch vehicles to help other countries get small satellites and cubesats into space, he said. Letscom International general manager Randson Huang (黃文杰) asked whether the NSPO is assisting or competing with local firms, and whether it would transfer technologies to them.
Most Taiwanese celebrities are careful never to reveal their stance on Taiwan’s political status for fear of being locked out of the lucrative Chinese market or angering fans at home who identify as Taiwanese rather than Chinese. “The nation’s interests are more important than anything else,” it said in a Sina Weibo post. “Resolutely support the one China principle.”Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) was also targeted on Monday after congratulating several of Taiwan’s athletes at the Olympics, with angry Chinese Internet users asking why she had failed to celebrate any Chinese competitors. Those outside China have found themselves targeted by Chinese state media and Internet users as Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) encourages the country to challenge those seen as trying to split or weaken it. Taiwanese athletes have so far won 10 medals in Tokyo — two gold, four silver and four bronze — their best-ever haul.
August 03, 2021 16:00 UTC
Hsinchu’s ‘battery hubs’ give reward points for recylingBy Hung Mei-hsiu and Kayleigh Madjar / Staff reporter, with staff writerThree 24-hour “smart” battery recycling stations recently set up around Hsinchu are capable of accepting seven sizes of dry-cell batteries in exchange for points that can be used for discounts throughout the city. A boy tries out a new battery recycling station in Hsinchu City on Monday, after the city government teamed up with a smart recycling company to set up stations that allow users to earn reward points for recycling batteries. The smart battery hubs can accept as few as one battery in exchange for Ecoco and Green Points, which can be spent on discounts or offers from participating businesses, the city said. Users can earn 250 Green Points for each battery, as well as 10 Ecoco points for type D and C batteries, and five points for other sizes, it said, adding that the stations are to be set up until Dec. 31. Ecoco points can be exchanged for discounts or offers from nearly 100 businesses, including Showba, MilkShop, Foodpanda and Taiwan Taxi Co, the firm’s Web site shows.
HK artist says he came to Taiwan for ‘100% freedom’AFP, HONG KONGOne of Hong Kong’s best-known artists yesterday confirmed that he had moved to Taiwan in search of “100 percent freedom” from the Hong Kong government’s crackdown on dissent. “I want and I demand 100 percent freedom, with no compromise,” Wong told Hong Kong Free Press. Earlier this year, Wong distributed hundreds of candle stubs from previous vigils marking Beijing’s deadly Tiananmen Square crackdown after Hong Kong authorities banned public commemorations. Despite this, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥) has insisted that freedom of speech remains intact in the territory. “I would honestly ask you, what sort of freedoms have we lost, what sort of vibrancy has Hong Kong been eroded?” she said in a radio show late last month.
New director takes over at space organizationBy Lin Chia-nan / Staff reporterRocket scientist Wu Jong-shinn (吳宗信) has officially assumed the position of National Space Organization (NSPO) director-general, the National Applied Research Laboratories (NARL) said on Monday. Wu Jong-shinn specializes in system engineering, hybrid rocket propulsion and plasma physics, among other areas, it said. National Space Organization Director-General Wu Jong-shinn smiles in an undated photograph. Wu Jong-shinn expressed the hope that he would help Taiwan reinforce the foundations of space technologies and foster the growth of local space industry supply chains and space start-ups. He obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from National Taiwan University and his doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan in 1994.
CECC issues 525,700 AstraZeneca dosesSECOND JAB: Local governments have been asked to offer any remaining doses to teachers who received their first vaccination more than 10 weeks agoBy Lee I-chia / Staff reporterThe Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that 525,700 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine are to be delivered to local governments today, and about 519,000 people eligible to receive the Moderna vaccine next week can start booking their appointment from 10am tomorrow. A woman receives a COVID-19 vaccine shot in New Taipei City in an undated photograph. Photo: Lin Hsin-han, Taipei TimesAnother 525,700 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are to be delivered to local governments today, he said. Local governments have been asked to reserve doses for people who have booked appointments in the current round of vaccinations and to offer the remaining doses to teachers who received their first dose more than 10 weeks ago. Other nations have adopted different periods between doses, ranging from four to 16 weeks, Chen said, adding that the WHO has suggested that each nation adjust the period according to vaccine supply.
“Generally speaking, demand for Vanguard’s foundry services will increase at a constant rate this quarter, greatly enhancing order visibility,” Vanguard chairman Fang Leuh (方略) told investors in an online conference. Revenue from 0.18 micron and more-advanced technology made up 52 percent of Vanguard’s revenue last quarter following five consecutive quarters of increases, the company said. Vanguard plans to hike prices by a low-teen percentage this quarter from last quarter, given the favorable supply-demand environment and increases in manufacturing costs, it said. To alleviate a supply crunch, Vanguard said it plans this quarter to add about 8,000 wafers a month of capacity at its Taoyuan fab. Gross margin is expected to improve to between 44 and 46 percent this quarter, after reaching a 14-year high of 40.9 percent last quarter, Vanguard said.
Taiwan’s reality is dawning in USBy Stanley Kao 高碩泰The US House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs on July 15 introduced the Ensuring American Global Leadership and Engagement (EAGLE) Act. With the relationship between Taiwan and the US riding high, this presents a golden opportunity for advocates in Washington and Taipei to seize the initiative and rename Taiwan’s representative office. Washington breaking off formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979 marked Taiwan’s lowest point on the international stage. One of the requirements stemming from the review was that Taiwan’s representative office in Washington change its name to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, which is still in use to this day. For the past quarter of a century, the argument has been made that “the time is not right” or that it would be “politically incorrect” to rename Taiwan’s representative office in Washington.
August 02, 2021 16:05 UTC
Syringes of Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp’s MVC COVID-19 vaccine are pictured in an undated photograph. Photo courtesy of the Food and Drug AdministrationThe Medigen vaccine, the first protein-based COVID-19 vaccine to be made available in Taiwan, would be good for six months before they expire, he added. Medigen secured an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the vaccine from the FDA on July 19. Eligible recipients of the Moderna vaccine in the next round would mainly be people in the ninth priority group of people who have a high-risk disease, a rare disease or catastrophic illness, he added. There are about 880,000 people in the ninth priority group who only selected the Moderna vaccine, Chen said.
August 02, 2021 16:00 UTC