HTC’s Chou ap­pointed di­rec­tor of Dig­i­tal Do­main

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Peter Chou, head of the Fu­ture De­vel­op­ment Lab of Tai­wan­based smart­phone ven­dor HTC Corp., has been ap­pointed ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Hong Kong-listed Dig­i­tal Do­main Hold­ings Ltd..

Dig­i­tal Do­main is en­gaged in a wide range of busi­nesses, in­clud­ing media en­ter­tain­ment, dig­i­tal vis­ual spe­cial ef­fects (VFX), co­pro­duc­tion of movies, prop­erty in­vest­ment and de­vel­op­ment, and trad­ing. On its web­site, Dig­i­tal Do­main has de­liv­ered in­no­va­tive vi­su­als for more than 100 movies, in­clud­ing “Iron Man 3,” the “Trans­form­ers” se­ries and “Titanic.”

The ap­point­ment by Dig­i­tal Do­main has stirred up spec­u­la­tion that Chou, 59, is leav­ing HTC, but the smart­phone ven­dor said that he still works for HTC and by tak­ing up the di­rec­tor po­si­tion at Dig­i­tal Do­main, he aims to help HTC de­velop the vir­tual re­al­ity (VR) busi­ness.

HTC is gear­ing up to grasp a share in the VR head­set busi­ness by launch­ing the HTC Vive head­set, hop­ing that this will help the com­pany strengthen its bot­tom line at a time when the Tai­wanese firm is faced with es­ca­lat­ing com­pe­ti­tion in the world’s smart­phone mar­ket.

Dig­i­tal Do­main said that Chou is sched­uled to be­gin his new job on Aug. 31, and he will hold onto the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor po­si­tion un­til the next gen­eral meet­ing, when he will re­tire and be­come el­i­gi­ble for re-elec­tion at the meet­ing.

In March, Chou stepped down as the chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of HTC but shifted his po­si­tion to head the smart­phone brand’s Fu­ture De­vel­op­ment Lab to help the com­pany iden­tify growth op­por­tu­ni­ties. HTC’s co-founder and chair­woman Cher Wang as­sumed the CEO po­si­tion.

HTC said that Chou’s new post in Dig­i­tal Do­main is ex­pected to al­low HTC to gain a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the de­vel­op­ment of the VR busi­ness since the Tai­wanese firm is de­ter­mined to seek more busi­ness co­op­er­a­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties in this field. HTC said that so far, it has more than 100 busi­ness part­ners in this sec­tor.

While HTC wants to use VR to help it make a turn­around, a Euro­pean bro­ker­age said that it is im­pos­si­ble for the smart­phone ven­dor to turn a profit in the next three years. In the first half of this year, HTC in­curred NT$9.70 (US$0.30) in loss per share, and the com­pany has forecast that it will post an ad­di­tional NT$5.85 to NT$5.51 in net loss per share in the third quar­ter.

The bro­ker­age said that HTC will likely suf­fer NT$ 18.43, NT$9.72 and NT$1.74 in loss per share for 2015, 2016, 2017, re­spec­tively. It has main­tained an “un­der­weight” rat­ing on HTC shares and cut a tar­get on the stock to NT$40, from NT$69.

On Fri­day, shares of HTC closed up 0.53 per­cent to reach NT$47.10 on the Tai­wan Stock Ex­change.

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