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Chennai, Sept. 8

ASUSTeK Computer and Foxconn Electronics (a trade name for the Hon Hai Precision Industry), both Taiwan-based hardware manufacturers, are considering investments in hardware plants to be located in Chennai.

Revealing this to Business Line, highly placed sources said, "Taiwan-based manufacturers are keen on diversifying into India. A significant portion of what they manufacture for clients in the West is outsourced to units in China." India is a good alternative for them to diversify in terms of geography and even try and build brands, the source said.

ASUS sells computers, networking equipment, optical storage devices, motherboards, and graphic cards among other products while Foxconn makes cables and PC connectors.

Dr G.J. Huang, Executive Vice-President, Institute for Information Industry, Taiwan, said, "We pass on market intelligence, information on international matters and the like to the hardware, software and digital industries in Taiwan."

Members from the institute have travelled to Chennai many times in the recent past. Replying to a question on whether hardware manufacturers in Taiwan are looking at investments in the city, Dr Huang said, "They are not only looking but are already moving." He said Nokia's decision to locate its plant here will influence Taiwanese original equipment manufacturers (of components) to expand into Chennai." He declined to reveal names of Taiwanese companies interested in India.

He emphasised that hardware was not the institute's "main purpose" and added that the institute itself was setting up an overseas software development centre in Chennai.

"It would initially house about 100 people. The centre would cater to the needs of several companies." He added that the institute is "responsible for e-society development and industrial development in Taiwan and would focus on embedded software for local industries."

Mr Andrew Tsui, Managing Director, ASUS-India, is addressing a gathering tomorrow at Connect 2005, CII's annual conference for IT and IT enabled services in the city.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 9, 2005)
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