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Taiwan faces further IT quake woes

Fresh earthquake and new Chinese tax up pressure on island

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Just a month after a serious earthquake hit IT powerhouse Taiwan, the country experienced a fresh quake yesterday. The earthquake, 6.4 on the Richter Scale, was centred near the city of Chiayi in the south of the island. According to the BBC, which reported the quake here there were some injuries but no mortalities. Electricity was cut to 90,000 people in the region. Chiayi is around 120 miles from Taipei, in the south west of the island. It was unclear at press time whether the sensitive fab equipment in the Hsinchu Science Park, halfway between Chiayi and the capital Taipei, was affected by the latest earthquake. At the same time, news has emerged of a tax imposed by mainland China which is set to affect Taiwanese manufacturing. The report says that a withholding tax on foreign materials is primarily aimed at Taiwanese firms manufacturing on the mainland and is intended to encourage the use of domestic components. The tax is repaid after six months. Further, the mainland Chinese government is alleged to be closely examining Taiwanese export documents so that local manufacturers can begin to manufacture parts to fit the bill. Meanwhile, the organisers of the Taiwanese Computex trade show, have posted details of possible shortages of components as a result of the earthquake on the 21st of September. Go here for details. ®

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