Taiwan’s tech-brand woes, and its cute obsession

1 Oct

On Oct. 1, I bring a few links on … Taiwan. The first two are about an issue that’s intrigued and perplexed me in recent times. Basically, Taiwan has several well-known tech brands like Acer, Asus, and HTC, but lately these brands, especially HTC, have been in serious decline. The Commonwealth story goes over why the brands fell but doesn’t provide much new details. Complacency, lack of international knowledge and flexibility in decision-making, failure to adapt quickly to changes and inadequate attention to marketing are some of the main reasons. From my own minor experience in the tech industry there, I’m not surprised. The BBC one goes a little deeper and focuses on culture as a main factor. Taiwanese-Chinese culture doesn’t emphasize innovation, but rather prioritizes stability and conservatism – the latter owing more to the family-run closed ownership structures of many companies. Both articles finish with some optimistic signs for tech so it’s not all doom and gloom. While I don’t feel too sympathetic, I feel Taiwan does deserve to have at least one or two major brands.

The final link is about Taiwan’s love for cute things – “ke’ai” culture. It’s similar to Japan, and is most obviously noticed in things like the (over)abundance of Hello Kitty and other “cute” cartoonish objects, and behavior traits like speaking in very low pitched squeals, which many 20-something girls, and even some older ones, do. The writer states that Taiwan may do well to promote itself as a “a Mecca of ke’ai ” but I’m not so sure.

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