Slow acceptance of 5G forecast: NCC officialsBy Shelley Shan / Staff reporterWhile the nation’s three main telecoms are launching 5G service this week, Taiwan is not going to see a large-scale migration from 4G to 5G, given the scarcity of smartphone models that can support the service, National Communications Commission (NCC) officials said yesterday. Photo: Wu Po-wei, Taipei TimesThe fees are the lowest in the world, compared with other nations where 5G service is available, NCC chief secretary Hsiao Chi-hung (蕭祈宏) said. A large-scale migration from the 4G to the 5G service would not happen until new 5G iPhones are launched, NCC officials said, adding that the estimation was made based on observations from the launch of 4G services. Meanwhile, an online poll by text messaging app Line on whether consumers would be motivated by the launch of 5G service to buy 5G smartphones found that more than 60 percent of respondents said they would not by a new phone to be able to access a 5G service. About 30 percent said they would consider changing their phones, and 10 percent said they would change their phones to access a 5G service.
July 01, 2020 15:56 UTC
Senhwa aims NT$1.5bn via 15 million sharesEXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss saidBy Kao Shih-ching / Staff reporterSenhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price over the five days before the secondary offering, Chang said. As Senhwa Biosciences shares have stayed above NT$100 in the past few months, the company expects to raise at least NT$1.5 billion from the issuance of 15 million new shares, Chang said. Senhwa Biosciences shares advanced 9.96 percent to NT$139.5 in Taipei trading yesterday, after an international team led by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, identified Silmitasertib as one of the several drugs that could disrupt the viral takeover of cells. The company’s shares have risen 120 percent from NT$63.5 in March, when the company began focusing on exploiting the experimental drug to treat COVID-19.
New envoy to US faces challenges in improving bilateral ties: academicBy Peng Wan-hsin and Dennis Xie / Staff reporter, with staff writerSeveral areas of Taiwan-US relations would require improvement after National Security Council member Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) takes over as representative to the US, an academic said yesterday, citing China’s continuous military intimidation of Taiwan. As the US is to hold its presidential election in November, Taiwan should strive to prevent any major shifts in bilateral relations in the event of a change in the US administration, Lai said. Taiwan-US relations could alter drastically in the near term in the face of multiple challenges and opportunities, such as economic problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the changing US-China relations, Hsiao said on Facebook on June 18, two days after her appointment. Pressing matters that need to be handled include stalled progress on bilateral free-trade agreements and talks under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, observers have said. Taiwan’s ban on imports of US pork containing ractopamine and some beef products should also be addressed via practical means, they said.
DPP caucus defends Chen ChuFOR THE RECORD: DPP lawmakers touted Chen’s record as a human rights activist and rebutted claims that she was the subject of numerous impeachment probesBy Hsieh Chun-lin and Jake Chung / Staff reporter, with staff writerThe Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday called on the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to focus its efforts on legislative interpellation and stop slandering former Presidential Office secretary-general Chen Chu (陳菊), who has been nominated to head the Control Yuan. The KMT’s claims that during her tenure as Kaohsiung mayor, Chen and her team had been the subject of multiple impeachments issued by the Control Yuan are exaggerated, Chung said. DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) said that nominating Chen to chair the National Human Rights Commission is the perfect arrangement in the history of Taiwan’s human rights development. According to the Organic Act of the Control Yuan National Human Rights Commission (監察院國家人權委員會組織法), the Control Yuan president should be appointed as chairperson of the commission. DPP Legislator Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳) commended Chen’s contributions to labor pension reform, support for gender equality, same-sex marriage and declassification of political files.
Minister blasts Taichung over fineBy Natasha Li / Staff reporterDeputy Minister of Economic Affairs Tseng Wen-sheng (曾文生) yesterday condemned the Taichung City Government for sanctioning Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) for restarting the No. 2 generator at the Taichung Power Plant. “The Taichung City Government has been on Taipower’s case since last year... Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Tseng Wen-sheng, center, speaks at a news conference in Taipei yesterday. “Taichung has consumed an average of 31,500 gigawatt-hours last year, higher than the Taichung Power Plant’s annual output of 30,000 gigawatt-hours,” Hsu said.
Lin Kuo Wen-yen (林郭文艷) was re-elected as chairwoman of the household-appliance maker’s nine-member board, but prior to the vote she announced that several shareholders would not have voting rights. Tatung management won six director seats and three independent director seats, leaving minority shareholders led by Shanyuan Group (三圓建設) chairman Wang Kuang-hsiang (王光祥) empty-handed. It was the first time a publicly listed company in Taiwan has blocked shareholders’ voting rights. Tatung cannot use this as an excuse to take away shareholders’ voting rights,” Tsai said. “Disputes regarding voting rights should be part of a firm’s self-governance.
Cabinet needs gender balance: committee membersBy Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporterPresident Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) need to create a more gender-balanced Cabinet, several outgoing members of the Fourth Gender Equality Committee said yesterday. Members of the Fourth Gender Equality Committee hold placards at a news conference in Taipei yesterday urging the government to appoint more female Cabinet members. The Gender Equality Committee consists of 27 to 35 members, including the premier and vice premier, who serve as convener and deputy convener respectively. Committee members are appointed by the premier and can include up to nine professionals selected from among the public, and nine representatives from gender or women’s groups. A list of new committee members would be announced after Su approves it, he added.
Chunghwa Telecom debuts 5G serviceNOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenueBy Lisa Wang / Staff reporterChunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Chunghwa Telecom Co mobile business unit president Max Chen speaks at the company’s 5G launch event at the company’s headquarters in Taipei yesterday. Chunghwa Telecom plans to double the number of its 5G base stations to 4,000 by the end of this year, compared with 2,000 now, he said. Taiwan Mobile also plans to offer tailor-made 5G rate plans for mobile game players later this year, Lin said. Taiwan Mobile’s rate plans are similar to those of Chunghwa Telecom, with additional free high-speed broadband connection.
Financial firms call for rule changesBy Kao Shih-ching / Staff reporterLocal financial firms yesterday called on the Financial Supervisory Commission to deregulate rules on consumer identity authentication, know-your-customer (KYC) data sharing and financial technology sandbox trials, saying that it would help boost their business development in Taiwan. Financial Supervisory Commission officials, led by Chairman Thomas Huang, and representatives from 39 financial firms hold a meeting in New Taipei City yesterday. “The commission should let companies decide which method to use to ward off fraudsters. It is important for us to figure out how to share KYC data without breaching personal information protections,” Yuanta Financial chief digital development officer Kuo Mei-ling (郭美伶) said. Regarding sandbox experiments conducted together by financial firms and non-financial companies, financial firms must take full responsibility if there are accidents or fraud under the current regulations, which has prevented many firms from getting involved, CTBC Financial president Daniel Wu (吳一揆) said.
Williams tells local hoopers to ‘get in shape’ for NBA 3XStaff writer, with CNAFormer NBA point guard Jason Williams yesterday encouraged basketball players in Taiwan to work on building their stamina so they can give their best in an upcoming three-on-three tournament. Williams in a videoconference from Florida said that three-on-three games are more physically demanding than five-on-five because of the running involved. Former NBA player Jason Williams yesterday takes part in a videoconference to promote the Cathay NBA 3X 2020 tournament. “For the young hoopers over in Taiwan who are going to do the three-on-three, you’d better get in shape and get ready to play,” he said ahead of the Cathay NBA 3X 2020 tournament that starts on Saturday. The Cathay NBA 3X 2020, hosted by NBA Taiwan and sponsored by Cathay Financial Holdings, is to begin with preliminaries in Taichung at the weekend, before moving on to Taoyuan on July 18 and 19, Taipei on July 25 and 26, and Kaohsiung on Aug. 2.
Exclusion of jury system bill protested‘TWIN TRACK’: Critics of a lay judge system said that judicial reform should not be politicized and the system should be tested alongside a jury system for some timeBy Jason Pan / Staff reporterJudicial reform advocates yesterday protested the legislature’s exclusion from its extraordinary session agenda of a bill to implement a jury system, while including a rival proposal for a lay judge system. “To have a jury system is to truly respect the wishes of the people in a democracy. Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times“In doing so, the government and judiciary are depriving the citizens of their right to choose a jury system,” Lin added. New Power Party caucus whip Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) also attended the protest in support of a jury system. However, the proposed bill as presented by the Judicial Yuan excludes the jury system,” he said.
Executive Yuan highlights Taiwan’s human rights progress in new reportBy Chen Yu-fu and Dennis Xie / Staff reporter, with staff writerThe Executive Yuan yesterday published Taiwan’s third national report on the implementation of two international human rights covenants, touting milestones set over the past four years, including the decriminalization of adultery and legalization of same-sex marriage. Premier Su Tseng-chang smiles during a news conference at the Executive Yuan yesterday on Taiwan’s implementation of international human rights covenants. Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei TimesThe latest report documents human rights efforts made by the government, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said. Previously the reports were submitted by the Presidential Office’s Human Rights Consultative Committee, which stopped operating on May 19, after the Organic Act of the Control Yuan National Human Rights Commission (監察院國家人權委員會組織法) took effect on May 1. The government plans to make several other international human rights pacts part of domestic law, and it is to introduce more action plans on Human Rights Day on Dec. 10, he added.
Taipower chair defends restarting No. 2 generatorStaff writer, with agenciesWith the restart of the Taichung Power Plant’s No. 3 generators at the Taichung Power Plant, Yang told a news conference yesterday in Taipei. The Taichung City Government responded by issuing a fine of NT2 million (US$67,511) and demanded that the generator be shut down. He said that he regretted the politicization of the power generator issue.
Parliamentary friendship associations set upFRIENDLY NATIONS: The establishment of the associations is a starting point for a new round of international networking, the Nicaraguan ambassador to Taiwan saidBy Lu Yi-hsuan and Dennis Xie / Staff reporter, with staff writerThe Legislative Yuan has established friendship associations with lawmakers in Latin America and Africa as part of the nation’s efforts to bolster ties with diplomatic allies and nations friendly to Taiwan. The two associations have been set up to promote deeper exchanges between Taiwanese lawmakers and their counterparts Latin America and Africa, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉), who spearheaded the initiative, said at the inaugural meeting in Taipei yesterday. A cross-party effort, the Taiwan-Central and South American and Caribbean Countries Parliamentary Friendship Association has 30 Taiwanese legislative members, while the Taiwan-African Countries Parliamentary Friendship Association has 46, Chiu said, adding that the goal is to have more than half of the Legislative Yuan join both groups. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chiu Chih-wei, fifth left, poses for a picture with representatives of the Taiwan-Central and South American and Caribbean Countries Parliamentary Friendship Association in Taipei yesterday. Lauding the founding of the associations, Nicaraguan Ambassador William Manuel Tapia Aleman, who is the dean of the foreign diplomatic corps in Taiwan, said he believed the associations would benefit Taiwan’s foreign relations.
Democratic Progressive Party and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers scuffle for control of the podium in the main chamber of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday morning, after KMT legislators had occupied the room on Sunday. DPP and KMT legislators scuffled for about an hour before the KMT lawmakers retreated. Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) entered the chamber at about 12:20pm, while KMT legislators shouted chants calling for the withdrawal of Chen’s nomination. Democratic Progressive Party legislators Wu Ping-jui, center, has his arms around the neck of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Hung Mong-kai, with whistle, yesterday during scuffles at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei. Retired civil servants, military personnel and teachers protest outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday.