Feeds

Taipei's tech malls are less than sum of their parts

More Hello Kitty kit than urban overclockers

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Nova mall

The Nova mall I visited is in the heart of town, opposite colossal transport hub Taipei Central Station.

Nova has a few other branches but locals told me this one was special. I'm not sure why they said so: like Guang Ha it is a fine place to buy a laptop. But there's only one or two components-and-cases shops trying to do business. Everything else is packaged and familiar, other than the endless variety of cute accessories.

Cute cable winders in Taipei

So cute! And just $US2.80!

Yes, the shops are rather smaller, more crowded and more chaotic than shops in many other parts of the world. They're also not much different from stalls I've seen in Singapore, Cambodia and Bangkok.

In all those places you'll also see the global ads for new technology products and Taipei is no exception: in another part of town I beheld a colossal Samsung Galaxy S5 ad featuring the same blonde-haired, very western-looking, female model you'll see anywhere else in the world.

In Taiwan this feels simultaneously ordinary and odd. Ordinary because big brands often use the same creative the world over. Odd because Taiwan's contribution to the technology world makes it possible for kit like the S5 to be created, yet there's no obvious celebration of the fact.

My Mandarin is non-existent, so maybe I'm missing the “designed in Taiwan” stickers that give local buyers a reason to wave the flag when they open their wallets. Or maybe it's not necessary: so much kit is designed or made in Taiwan that the locals don't need a reminder.

Either way, walking the streets of Taipei doesn't give one the impression you're visiting a technology superpower. A city letting its hair down ahead of a big public holiday, yes.

But not a city about to set global agendas with a trade show.

So bring on Computex so we can see what Taiwan has in store for the world this year. And let's hope the caterers have laid in some boar sausage. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?