Taiwan Business Quick Take

State-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) and oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油) yesterday launched a joint plan to explore geothermal energy in Yilan County. A ceremony was held at the site of the planned Renze No. 3 Geothermal Well in Yilan to mark the beginning of the project, under which work is to be undertaken to drill a total of six exploratory wells before June 2021, the two companies said. CPC chairman Tai Chein (戴謙) said the exploration project, forecast to produce installed capacity totaling 8 megawatts of electricity if successful, is being carried out in three stages, with the first stage involving the drilling of two 1.5km-deep wells at a cost of NT$130 million (US$4.23 million).

HTC Corp (宏達電) shares yesterday surged by the 10 percent maximum daily limit to close at NT$37.15 in Taipei trading. The strong showing came after the smartphone maker on Tuesday reported that its revenue last month grew 4.14 percent sequentially, ending four consecutive months of declines. At the same time, a monthly survey published by Steam, a video game distribution platform, showed that the HTC Vive virtual-reality headset has been gaining traction among gamers, with the number of users of the headset inching up 0.24 percentage points to 42.7 percent. The premium HTC Vive Pro also saw users rise from 2.03 percent in September to 2.27 percent last month, giving the firm a 44.97 percent share of VR headsets among Steam users.

Garment manufacturer Quang Viet Enterprise Co (廣越) yesterday reported that net income last quarter rose 51.24 percent annually to NT$617.16 million, with revenue gaining 25.69 percent annually to NT$6.14 billion. Earnings per share were NT$7.24. The company attributed the strong showing to larger orders of higher-priced items from international clients Patagonia Inc and The North Face Inc. Order visibility is clear through the second quarter of next year, the company said, adding that the garment and textile sector would benefit from ongoing US-China trade tensions, as it migrated manufacturing to Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries long before the row started.

The Ministry of Science and Technology has proposed a plan to US-based chip designer Qualcomm Inc seeking help to upgrade the nation’s industries, ministry officials said yesterday. As part of a Fair Trade Commission-led task force responsible for monitoring how Qualcomm carries out an anti-trust settlement, the ministry has come up with three requests to Qualcomm to help the nation’s industries: assistance with developing 3D sensor technology, holding an innovation competition and hiring high-end research and development talent for a new manufacturing engineering and testing center in Hsinchu.

PChome Online Inc (網路家庭), the nation’s largest online shopping Web site operator, yesterday reported that revenue last quarter rose 12.6 percent annually to NT$8.22 billion, while revenue in the first nine months of this year reached a record-high NT$24.25 billion. However, the company posted losses per share of NT$1.62, an improvement from losses per share of NT$4.03 and NT$2.75 in the first and second quarters of this year respectively.