Chairman Wang Jianzhou – head of China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator by subscribers – has continued to forge closer ties with Taiwan’s technology sector this week, announcing that China Mobile is to begin working with Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) to develop next-generation mobile technologies. According to Taiwan News, Chairman Wang announced the partnership during a visit to the Hsinchu Science Park in Hsinchu City, northern Taiwan. He also confirmed that he will meet with Morris Chang, founder and chairman of the world’s largest chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), and representatives from MediaTek, Taiwan’s leading fabless semiconductor company.
Chairman Wang has already used his tour of Taiwan this week to announce a large 3G handset deal with HTC and an e-book deal with Foxconn. According to reports earlier in the week, the HTC deal will see China Mobile invest CNY47 million (US$6.9 million) in the joint project and expects to develop at least seven handset models by 2010. Based on the operator’s 3G TD-SCDMA technology, the smartphones will run on China Mobile’s Android-based Open Mobile System platform. Meanwhile, the operator is working with Foxconn to jointly develop and manufacture e-books to be sold in China, with a planned launch date of the first half of next year. However, China Mobile has so far been denied approval by Taiwanese authorities to buy a 12 percent stake in local operator Far EasTone for US$529 million.