HTC providing Taiwanese delegation at APEC with free smartphones

Taiwanese smartphone vendor HTC is offering free smartphones to the Taiwanese delegates at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum leaders’ summit in Indonesia, a source familiar with the matter said Monday.

The move is a way of showing support for Taiwan’s participation in the high-profile event while at the same time promoting the company’s products before world leaders, the source said.

HTC has provided about 100 smartphones — including its new 5-inch Butterfly S and flagship One models — to the Taiwanese delegation at the summit taking place in Bali, according to the source.

Former vice president Vincent Siew is heading the 90-strong delegation that includes HTC chairwoman Cher Wang, who is participating as a member of the APEC Business Advisory Council.

Siew, a veteran economic expert who is representing president Ma Ying-jeou, has met with Chinese president Xi Jinping, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the sidelines of the summit over the past few days.

HTC has been seeking to revive its falling sales and reported its first quarterly loss as a public company in the third quarter. According to a report a week earlier, HTC reported NT$47 billion (US$1.59 billion) in sales for the third quarter, down 29.3% from the previous quarter and a net quarterly loss of NT$2.97 billion (US$101 million), or NT$3.58 per share.

Wang told Bloomberg Oct 5 in Bali that the fourth quarter will be the “biggest challenge” for the company in the face of strong competition from rivals.

HTC shares fell by the maximum daily limit of 7% to close at NT$126 (US$4.29) Monday on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.


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