Tuesday, June 23, 2009

WAPI's reappearance

China has once again submitted an application to make WAPI a global standard after several years of quieit on the wireless standards front (link). At least two of China's three major telecom service providers, China Mobile and China Telecom, are requiring WAPI support for all new wireless LAN gear. At least one Chinese report (link) claims that ISO is reconsidering WAPI because WAPI has proven to be far superior in its performance to the IEEE 802.11i standard. I remain sceptical of that claim and the standard (or at least the motives behind it).

Friday, June 19, 2009

China's brands gaining in China

The FT reported this week that Best Buy's Shanghai stores have witnessed a rapid turn away from Japanese and Korean brands and a move towards Chinese ones. Lenovo, Haier and TCL were mentioned specifically. It would be interesting to find out what products are involved in this trend. I suspect foreign brand mobile phones remain strong, but perhaps Chinese consumer are moving towards cheaper Chinese brands in computing.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Morris is Back!

Morris Chang is once again CEO of TSMC. While chairman and CEO of TSMC since its founding, Chang gave up the CEO role to Rick Tsai in 2005. A quick reading of this breaking news would suggest some troubling implications. First and foremost, TSMC may have an Apple problem. Apple without Steve Jobs has proven to be an ineffective company. Is TSMC dependent on Chang in the same manner? Probably not, but does this mean that Tsai is not the answer at CEO for future? If so, then TSMC may face a problematic search for a successor to replace the irreplaceable. Understandably it is hard to replace a semicon industry icon like Chang who is rightfully called the father of the foundry industry, but Tsai did not do too shabby of a job until the worldwide downturn hit. If they aren't happy with Tsai's performance as successor, who will make the board and Morris happy?