Cross-border Ecommerce: A Growing Market for Taiwan

Big data has become an essential component for giant e-tailers such as eBay and Amazon. As the consumption of data continues to grow rapidly, companies are investing heavily in big data to provide a new level of strategic marketing and offer better customer experiences.

On May 23, AmCham Taipei’s Innovation Council and Sustainable Development Committee jointly invited Robert Gou, CEO of Viewider, and Ming-Ji Wu, Director-General of the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration (SMEA) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, to provide insight to global ecommerce trends at a Chinese-language luncheon program entitled, “從eBay與Amazon看電商全球化趨勢及大數據平台” held at the Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel.

According to Gou, worldwide retail sales are predicted to reach US$4.4 trillion by 2021, indicating tremendous opportunities for online retailers, especially those ready to invest in big data analytics. Big data can help online retailers achieve their goals by identifying markets, recommending pricing strategies, and improving business processes.

Gou highlighted some of the challenges small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Taiwan face in entering the online retail industry:

  • Language barriers: difficulties to train and recruit talent for handling cross-border trading and dealing with foreign customers due to communications problems.
  • Poor marketing strategies: lack of information and understanding about foreign markets to identify selling strategies, leading to poorly targeted marketing.
  • Shipping and logistics: insufficient understanding of import regulations and delivery methods, and the high cost of outsourcing fulfillment.
  • Payment methods: having a reliable payment processing system that is accepted by customers from different regions.

Director-General Wu discussed the growth of Taiwan’s SMEs – which numbered 1.4 million companies as of 2016 – and addressed challenges they face. In line with the government’s efforts to promote the New Southbound policy and to develop Taiwan as Asia’s Silicon Valley, the government offers various programs to assist entrepreneurs in expanding into global markets. These programs include 1) training, 2) funding, 3) industry promotion 4) market intelligence, and 5) technical expertise and support.

From left to right: Robert Gou, CEO of Viewider; Ming-Ji Wu, Director-General of the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration of the Ministry of Economic Affairs; AmCham Capital Market Committee Co-Chair Nadia Chen, Country Executive, The Bank of New York Mellon Taipei Branch; AmCham Sustainable Development Committee Co-Chair Cosmas Lu, Strategy Adviser, Super Dragon Technology Co., LTD

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Innovation Council Luncheon: Unlocking the Power of Authentic Experiences through the Sharing Ecnoomy

On October 17, AmCham Taipei’s Innovation Council had the pleasure of hosting Airbnb’s Asia-Pacific public policy lead Mike Orgill, to share his insights with guests and members about the rise of the global “Sharing Economy”.

The “Sharing economy” is an umbrella term with a range of meanings, often used to describe economic and social activity involving online transactions. Some notable platforms include Airbnb, Uber, and Zipcar.

During Mr. Orgill’s presentation, he covered a the following topics:

  • Opportunities and future development of Sharing Economy
  • New trends in travel
  • Best-practice sharing on partnerships, such as how Airbnb became the partner of the recent Olympics in Rio
  • Experience sharing on working with governments to develop new regulatory frameworks for sharing economy

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Gina Tsai (left) Airbnb’s Hong Kong and Taiwan Public Policy Head, Mike Orgill (right) APAC Public Policy Head, with Revital Golan (center), AmCham Technology Committee Co-Chair and Managing Director of Anemone Ventures.

Taiwan’s Role in the Future of Computer Memory

Micron CEO Mark Durcan addresses AmCham Taipei Guests at a Special Luncheon on March 10 regarding the semiconductor industry in Taiwan

Micron Technology CEO Mark Durcan spoke to AmCham Taipei guests on March 10 at a special Global Executive Insights luncheon, offering a wealth of knowledge about future trends in the global computer memory industry and a clear summary of why Taiwan plays such a large role in the sector. Durcan’s full presentation is available below.

2015 Semiconductor Market Breakdown

Durcan stressed three major trends in the memory segment of the semiconductor industry:

1. Supplier consolidation:

Major semiconductor manufacturers continue to consolidate through mergers and acquisitions.

2. Diversification of end markets

During the dotcom boom and bust over 70% of memory was dedicated to PC applications. Today only 25% goes to PCs, while demand for memory in mobile devices and server/cloud applications soars. Significant growth for memory demand can also be seen in other advanced fields:

  • Automotive: crash avoidance technology
  • Medical: advanced diagnostics
  • Graphics: augmented/virtual reality and gaming


3. Slowing supply growth

While demand growth for memory (measured in bits) continues to rise, the amount of new bits that can be produced each year by the industry through advances in existing technology is plateauing.

The result is a gradual shift away from supplying memory products to major OEMs, towards a diversified end market – and an increasing demand for more customized, innovative memory solutions for individual customers.

Looking forward

Due to the slowing technology-driven scaling of existing memory types (NAND and DRAM), Micron has begun to explore the development of new memory products, including:

3D NAND – a new configuration of existing NAND memory chips has tripled the capacity of existing NAND products, allowing 3.5TB to be stored in a space the size of a stick of gum while greatly reducing power consumption

3D Xpoint – An entirely new type of memory (the first in decades), Durcan claims that 3D Xpoint has the potential to dramatically transform computing architectures, boasting speeds and densities 1000x greater than those of NAND.

Taiwan’s Role

Micron, one of the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturers, produces 60% of it’s DRAM memory chips in Taiwan alone. Since 2008, Micron has invested US$8bn in Taiwan, with another $4bn pending the completion of their acquisition of Inotera. Durcan stressed repeatedly the importance of Taiwan to the success of Micron’s semiconductor business, highlighting several key factors that contribute to its optimal business environment:

  • Advanced education programs produce a high quality talent pool, with experience in semiconductor technology and strong work ethic
  • A Supportive and business-friendly government and regulatory environment.
  • A strong, quality-focused technology manufacturing ecosystem that drives a cost-competitive environment, as well as a high-quality test and assembly infrastructure
  • Proximity to large markets such as China, with engineers and other talent who speak the same language and live in the same time zone as customers from these markets
  • Historically affordable energy costs

AmCham Taipei would like to thank Mark Durcan and Micron for their time and willingness to share their insight with the Taiwan business community at this AmCham Special Luncheon.