Taiwanese Government Calls on Citizens to Buy & Support HTC

Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-Shiang.

From Yahoo Taiwan:

Minister of Economic Affairs calls on nation to support HTC, netizen backlash

HTC’s operations have weakened, impacting Taiwan’s export figures, resulting in 5 successive months of negative growth and seriously affecting Taiwan’s economic growth. In order to stop the decline, Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang today (the 10th) called for his fellow countrymen to “Affirm and support HTC, starting with loving and using their mobile phones”. This statement prompted backlash on the internet, PTT saw countless posts slammed, criticizing HTC for considering themselves to be a mainland Chinese brand and belittling Taiwan, [with netizens] unable to agree with Shih Yen-shiang’s point of view.

Shih Yen-shiang revealed that he and the Vice-Economic Minister both use HTC phones, that the government has a close relationship with HTC, provides assistance, and hopes that everyone will unite in supporting domestic companies. Netizens didn’t show any appreciation, wit some people with angrily digging out HTC chairman Cher Wang’s past statements, pointing to her having said “HTC is an indigenous Chinese brand”, so Taiwanese officials now calling for the masses to support a ‘non-Taiwanese brand’ is truly unpersuasive.

HTC One S controversially has older CPU processor in domestic Taiwan market.

In addition, it was only this past May that witnessed the One S “Processor Incident,’ which was also brought up by netizens for criticism and to point out that HTC “is not especially patriotic”. When the same model sold domestically turned out to have a relatively lower level processor, HTC not only didn’t offer an explanation, the price set was still the same as overseas, making people confused as to just how they could offer their support. Netizen 陳宗顯 recommended that HTC to first reduce prices and raise specifications to match those abroad, and then discuss the issue of HTC’s character, “Minister Shih stop bullshitting us.” Scott Chen put it more bluntly: “Sells expensive rubbish to Taiwan and the government officials still comes out to peddle propaganda, what is this?”

Amidst the wave of vicious abuse, there were still some netizens who express support, rationally analyzing that Taiwanese businesses indeed need support first from their countrymen because confidently enter the international [market]. Netizen 梁智強 said, HTC’s production base, R&D, and innovation are all domestic, so even though there are lots of areas that need to be improved, we can’t deny the hard work of the majority of HTC’s Taiwanese engineers and Taiwanese employees, so everyone should use recommendations instead of abuse. Cindy Chang also said: “Only if our own countrymen love to use them can foreigners be persuaded, its rare for a indigenous Taiwanese brand to be on the international [market].”

Netizen 吳宜晏 calmly said: “As the old saying goes, stick to market mechanisms” believing consumers should choose products that meet their needs and budget rather than blindly follow brands, so if HTC hopes to receive support, they must produce quality goods rather than hoping to get support solely through patriotic sentiment.

Comments from Yahoo Taiwan:


I use money to support you and you use slogans to repay me. Sincerity repaid with heartlessness.


Why do I feel the Economic Minister is telling us that when we encounter swindlers, we should open our wallets to make it easier for the swindlers to take our money?


Lower prices, raise specifications.


Learn from Samsung, keep the best and highest level stuff for their own country to use. But HTC? Same model, same price, but different specifications? Saving low level stuff for Taiwan! What is the meaning of this? Taiwan is obviously not your main market, therefore you should not require Taiwanese people’s support!


Minister, you’re joking, right!? Calling the ordinary common people to go save Big Boss Wang?


Please everyone support Acer and ASUS. These two company’s phones are much more sincere.


A country’s economy is dependent on a single company ~ Isn’t that a bit pathetic…


A [mainland] Chinese brand should seek [mainland] Chinese help.


HTC considers itself to be a mainland brand… So what should we support?… Go eat shit.


Reject Communist bandit brands!

What do you think? Of HTC? Of the Taiwanese government’s call for support? Of some netizens’ backlash?

HTC suits standing beside a white wall with "HTC: Quietly Brilliant".

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  • Matt

    “Learn from Samsung, keep the best and highest level stuff for their own country to use.”

    Well, that would explain a lot…

    • Matt As you infer, keeping your best stuff in-country until US patent lawyers are off work for Chistmas is wise. However, I am quite happy that the Koreans are whipping the screws off iPhones and copying the goddamned things. Professional cloning is better than producing utter shit.

    • Paul

      No way.

      Not entirely certain of Samsung, but its common in most other Korean industries (particularly the motor industry where Korean rev-heads regularly import export Hyundais from America) to pull the same stunt. Sell the seconds domestically and export the models that pass QC 100%. Having said that, my personal experience with Samsung products purchased in Korea has been less than stellar, whereas I’ve yet to encounter any problems with export models.

      • Paul

        Although it is worth noting that domestic after-care service for chaebol products (LG, Samsung etc) is impeccable, which goes a long way to compensate.

        • Paul Personal experience suggests that anything dubious goes to Singapore. Whether Sony thru Samsung. The manufacturers take advantage that in a dense city, there is usually a walk-in service centre, which would not apply to US / EU / Oceania. Have had so much shit fail over the years; but of course the humidity doesn’t help.

  • Matt

    Anyway, new Chinese multinationals are going to have to start using the Chinese language for their international brand names. Everyone knows Samsung is Korean and Toshiba is Japanese, but most people don’t know Asus, Acer, and HTC are all Chinese/Taiwanese.

    • Twind

      Yeah, the only Chinese brand with a Chinese name that has somewhat of an international market that I know of is Haier.

      • blah

        but if you just look at “Haier” it kinda looks german

        • Twind

          Yeah, I can see that.

          • LEGION

            But its Heil and not Hail. Your perception is flawed.

      • Chunghwa

        A brand that is obviously and blatantly Chinese would be the “Great Wall” brand of cars. They sell quite well in Australia because they’re so cheap, though most people who buy those cars always have things said to them like “why are you buying cheap Chinese cars?”

        • donscarletti

          They’d sell even better if their advertisements showed big Chinese construction projects and shitty Chinese road.

        • Wang Lijun

          They were all recalled in Australia due to asbestos.

      • Jess

        There is Huawei, of course. But Huawei seems to be going through the Hyundai experience where nobody knows how to pronounce its name.
        Sony, on the other hand, is famously Japanese without going by a “Japanese” name.

        • Lakeman

          yeah, forgotten about Huawei. Sony is definitely a good brand.

    • Sea_Horse_Mirror

      If they did that no one would ever buy an Haier. I’ve known people who deride the qualities of Chinese goods yet they have perfectly fine electronics made by a Chinese company with a western name (Lenovo).

      Haier is a Chinese name but it doesn’t SOUND Chinese.

      • David

        I think you are probably right, certainly from a marketing point of view.

      • Twind

        Haier doesn’t sound Chinese? I don’t know. Maybe its because I always know the company to be a Chinese one.

        • elizabeth

          I think it’s actually Hai er, two words, probably means ‘sea/ocean’ and ‘child’.

          • Twind

            Yes, you’re right, but “er” doesn’t mean child here, it’s a different character.

          • mrnightcat

            It’s a different character (尔 used vs. 儿) but the connotation is deliberate. Most of their household electronics have a picture of two young smiling children as part of their logo.

          • elizabeth

            You are both right. I discovered that Haier is just the last two syllables from a transliteration of their German partner’s name Liebherr (li bo hai er). The connotation is clever, though, because it ‘personifies’ something that is otherwise meaningless and makes it stick.

          • Lakeman

            I did not know about Hai er’s german connection, interesting!

      • Matt

        True, part of the problem is that most people are ignorant of what sounds are actually part of the Chinese language.

        Most would probably be stunned to find out that none of these are in Mandarin:
        – ching (although phonetically this would be qing)
        – sum
        – ting
        – ping
        – pong

        So I guess they’ll have to pull the names from the following word bank:
        – chong
        – ling
        – long
        – tong
        – wong
        – dong

        Of course, within a century or so, Mandarin will probably enjoy much more global awareness, and Chinese companies will be able to use non-Chinese-sounding names like Bole and Diao Nü.

        • Mao Ze Shenme Dong Dong

          I have ordered a ping of cat piss in the past. Do you ting what I am saying?

          I am keen to see where you base this rubbish information on.

          It would be difficult for your Chinese teacher to say ping and ting with your dick in his mouth.

          • Matt

            You’re absolutely right. I started out with a single generic list of sounds and copied and pasted them as appropriate, but I clearly messed it up a bit. Not sure how this warranted such a hostile response, though. Apparently phonetics is extremely serious business…

            Don’t worry, I 听 what you are saying.

          • Mao Ze Shenme Dong Dong

            I usually am right.

        • elizabeth

          I must have learned wrongly because they are mandarin sounds to me except sum, pong and wong.

          • Matt

            Ok, let me try this again:

            Not part of Mandarin:
            – ching (again, this phonetically basically corresponds with ‘qing’)
            – sum
            – pong
            – wong (standard in Wade-Giles, albeit ‘wang’ in pinyin)

            Part of Mandarin:
            – chong
            – ling
            – long
            – tong
            – dong
            – ting
            – ping

            Incidentally, I’ll have to admit that the UCLA girl’s “ching chong ling long ting tong” is 83.3% correct phonology. Not bad…

          • elizabeth

            You are right about ‘qing’. I am clueless about the UCLA one.

      • Paul

        Really? Amongst all the people I know, Lenovo is most popular amongst those in the IT industry, all of whom know it is Chinese. Lenovo is an odd example as it basically is new ownership of IBM’s laptop division rather than a strictly homegrown company.

  • Jeff

    I think this spells big trouble for Apple! I can see all Chinese giving up their Iphones so quickly.

    • Brett Hunan

      I wonder if he has anything invested in HTC.

      I use a Samsung, myself, but I have heard decent things about HTC. Theres a new iPhone coming out soon, right?

      • Brett I think you deserve HTC’s newest model, the HTC Satire.

        • Brett Hunan

          Lol if my Samsung ever breaks Ill keep an eye out for it.

      • vince

        Yeah the iphone 5 should be out in sept, what samsung do you use? I’ve heard that the HTC 1X is more legible due to higher contrast or brightness especially when used outside. However the S3 is faster, more responsive and so on. Apple sure has their work cut out for them.

        • Brett Hunan

          Galaxy Note LTE

          • eattot

            your in hunan?

          • Brett Hunan

            I used to live in Hunan. It was where I lived when I started reading chinaSMACK. Now I live in South Korea.

          • eattot

            your a pretty man.

          • Brett Hunan

            Lol. That is a pity… I don’t think I’ve ever been called “pretty” before, so thanks. Maybe if I ever take a pleasure trip (not in a wierd way, just not for business) to Shanghai there can be a chinaSMACK get together.

          • eattot

            that would be great!

          • vince

            Brett and Eattot sitting in a tree… I kid I kid :D
            back on topic the galaxy note is pretty nice but I think that the variations on the local model i.e. for the korean market and the international variation make it hard to compare. Apple better make changes to the design cause another iphone 4 variation is not going to go down well with apple fanboys, me personally I like samsung as well.

          • Brett Hunan

            You’re right Vince. The Korean version (the one I have) has a faster processor, more internal storage, and a white color option.

            I’m happy with it for now. Apparently there is a tablet version of the Note which is about to come out.

          • Nanny Hiccups

            my phone vince is a samsung B7330 OmniaPro i don’t know if that’s old or not. I got it in december.

  • Kukuku

    Posting in a sofa thread

  • Zhuangzi

    Desperation sets in.

  • k

    For a second I thought that said to support THC and I was like Go Taiwan!

    • sern

      So you like the history channel?

      • k

        Its an acronym with many neat names :) !!!

        • leftists are tongzhimen

          go away druggie. you are a bane to society.

          • mr. wiener

            It’s for my glaucoma , I swear. Remember, puff, puff, pass.

          • k

            …..who was talking about drugs? Thc clearly stands for Traditional Health Care…(━_┳)

  • YaoGalau

    Nowadays even a minister has become a spokesman of a brand name..sounds like HTC is the main backbone of Taiwan’s economy..just realize it today.
    But such a big company even asked help from minister to promote its product then it must be really in despair.

    • Zappa Frank

      even in that case taiwan market is small, they have export problem, a problem that cannot be solved in this way. Moreover, if you’re losing your market space you should try to understand what’s wrong with your product, not baggering people to buy it, while you hope to be helped by a convenient nationalism. Even more stupid if till now you sold less quality product than abroad at the same price, just in Taiwan..

      • YaoGalau

        Yup,it’s looked so pathetic and shameless.
        I feel sorry for Taiwan netizen T_T

  • sonny

    that first comment “sincerity repaid with heartlessness” TOTALLY just reminded me of the jacky wu song — who’s down for ktv tonight?


    p.s. seriously, more protectionism? as if we didn’t have enough problems…

  • Getrealson

    A Fucking thieving animal, Asking people to support another theiving animal! They really must believe the people are stupid! If HTC did the right thing to start with they wouldn’t be in this trouble.

  • sern

    My favorites were the last two, ” Go eat shit.” & the gong fei reference. I can see green flags a waving lol

  • eddie9684

    xiaomi 2, thats the phone to buy.

    htc and samsung are overpriced and not very powerful

  • UpRising

    Is it even legal for a member of the goverment to publicly sponsorize a specific company?

    • Kukuku

      I don’t think it matters here whether it’s legal or not.

      • Twind

        I think he is talking about Taiwan here.

      • UpRising

        Why would it not matter?
        Than all the others companies in financial difficulty should get a member of the government to promote their products?

  • Sea_Horse_Mirror

    HTC’s founders are pro-union so I understand the backlash has may have some political context.

    HOWEVER I used a HTC Legend and it was GREAT, but then I had to say good buy to it. They don’t make the Legend anymore, so I got a Wildfire out of brand loyalty. It’s crap. The Legend was so much better.

    • http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xsmd5p_blackk-immigration-inspecting-taiwanese-women_creation

      taiwanese politicians those swindlers!!!! just sell your whores to the blakc africans like chiang kai shek once did

      • Bo Xilai For Emperor

        Those are Japanese stupid…and what does it have to do with Chiang? “Starting” is the new village idiot

        • Chunghwa

          “Oh noes! Black people! Let’s blame Chiang Kai-shek for this tomfoolery!”

          Suddenly, CKS rises from his mausoleum in Touliao, travels thousands of miles to the residence of starting, and hits him over the head, shouting in his Jiangsu accent, “你娘的,老黑跟我有鸟事啊?”

          • Bo Xilai For Emperor

            I think 老黑 did something to “starting” that he didn’t like….

  • Nanny Hiccups

    i don’t really care about phones. i use samsung. as long as it can get my call through i don’t need all of that other stuff they put on it.

    • Twind

      That’s certainly a very practical way of looking at things. That’s good.

      • Nanny Hiccups

        yeah my phone looks more like a blackberry. my son has a samsung with a touch screen but it’s really annoying because it pocket dials people at random time, so people can some times get our conversations without knowing it. My daughter’s phone is much better than both of ours, but I forgot which kind it in. Mine functions as it is. I don’t understand the iphone craze or any of that nonsense.

        • vince

          Tell your son to set a passcode when the phone turns on from the screensaving mode, so when the phone is placed in his pocket make sure that the power button is pressed once to enter screen-saving mode. Even a pocket wont be able to guess the code and therefore no matter what happens noone will get pocket dialed hereafter.

          • Brett Hunan

            Easy peazy lemon squeezy

        • linette

          I don’t know anything about phones. I have been using apple iphone forever. I only use apple iphone.

        • Twind


          You are correct. I myself don’t understand all of these craze either, whether its cell phones or shoes…etc.

          • Nanny Hiccups

            what is the biggest shoe craze? I only wear those leather ballerina shoes. I have about twenty pair of them in different styles. lol. they are too comfortable. So I have no idea what people are wearing.

            I have some really tall high heels but I can last about four hours in them then they have to come off because they make my feet hurt. I don’t care about those either, but I do have the sexy ones just in case.

          • Twind

            Oh, I was thinking of the Air Jordan XI back in 2011. Some people were crazy about that shoes.

          • eattot

            my bf like mary jean most,hahaha!

          • Nanny Hiccups

            Oh I heard about that vaguely, where I live. It’s so funny, give my boys a pair of chuck taylor converse and they are happy. My other son likes vans. they never in their life asked for a pair of jordans. must be a wisconsin thing. i heard people in some cities were knocking each other down for those shoes lol

          • Nanny Hiccups

            eattot, do your bf like you to wear heels? I love the way heels look but I hate that they hurt my feet. i have some shoes that are lace, with a 5 inch heel but i haven’t worn them because of the pain haha. i will probably wear to a christmas party this year.

  • eattot

    htc is nice, cheap and good design,big screen and cheap,i will buy htc for my next phone.
    many young people i know use htc. nowadays,they all make big phone with big screen like a brick.also not many people will buy nokia or motorola any more,they are dated,ugly design not for young people.
    now i use sumsung,the quality is low….

    • vince

      What samsung are u using? It must be pretty old if the quality is considered low, the current generation samsungs are hardy phones and have very decent build quality.

      • eattot

        partly touch screen does not work,makes me angry….

        • DRaYphLy

          how many times did you drop it?

  • kodi

    HTC products abroad have very good quality, but it is disturbing that they would adopt the widely used, and recently ineffective, multinational strategy of technology management to sell their phones. I am referring to the strategy of saving high technology for higher cost products and only allowing it to trickle out little by little over the years. I can see that they realize that in order to be competitive internationally they need to offer higher performance higher tech products, but to include lower performance to their own domestic market is just begging to have other brands swoop in to compete for market share. Look at Apple! They are in court with Samsung not because Samsung is stealing their technology (because they are not) its because Samsung is offering the same or similar technology for lower prices! This is taking advantage of cost innovation that can be achieved by using China as a manufacturing base. Apple is forced to release better technology in every day products to either match or better the competitors products sooner than it would like to. Apple would be content with still selling the 1st generation iphone if they could just as long as no one else challenged them in that market. Instead they must release a new iphone every year or so with better capabilities and now other phones are releasing new models with more capabilities faster and for lower prices. Its not like the technology is new! Its been around for 10 years or so, but it has just been held back from products because they want to milk the public of their money for each given innovation. I am so happy the release of these technologies is speeding up.

    Next thing you know the Chinese will release them all in one phone for the lowest price possible and all those companies will be crying. There are already phones in China with all those capabilities that are sold for about 150 dollars, its just that they need to work on marketing and brand management in order to make them popular. Damn farmers have phones that outperform iphones in China!

    • fenqing basher

      Phones in Samsung Android standard sold for $150 in China, hahaha link please.
      I bet these phones dont even come close to the i-phone.
      I have tested all these unbelivable cheap smartphones in china, they all suck, big time.
      HTC is going down because the laowai pulled out, went to Samsung (due to shady business pratices of HTC) thus HTC not able to pirate and copy the latest technology

  • Seeing as how the Taiwanese love nothing more than letting everyone know that they are Taiwanese and definitely not Chinese, I’m surprised that the government had the testicular fortitude necessary to suggest they support the hipster HTC who claims the opposite.

    • sern

      You must travel in small circles. Plenty I met were ” Chinese”, but drew a difference between themselves & communist China.

  • Rick Gigahertz

    Typical ethnic, fair-weather (not mainland) Chinese, when there’s an advantage to say ‘we’re Chinese’ they do, but when things are bad, then it’s no, no, we’re Taiwanese/Singaporean/Hong Kongers (pick one, they’re ALL the same).

  • Harland

    I’ve had two HTC phones and been very happy with both. I saw no reason to switch to any other phone.

    However, HTC is dead to me now that they decided to stop producing phones with physical keyboards and only make soft keyboards from now on. I don’t know what I’m going to do when my Desire Z gives out in another year or two.

  • MrT

    I only every buy Chinese quality goods, the less money goes else where the better.
    Good advice.

  • Nanny Hiccups

    so weird, i saw an at and t commercial today for HTC phones involving a goat stealing a camper’s backpack. wtf? lol. this article must be part of a marketing campaign.

  • Dingles

    This site is lacking as of late. Two big stories in the past day: Japanese go to Diaoyu Islands, and foreigners car gets wrecked after “spitting, slapping woman”..not on here.

    Beijing Cream seems to do a much better job.

    • Brett Hunan

      Let me get this straight… You are saying that BC is doing a better job at being a portal website because it has covered a story that chinaSMACK hasn’t (has yet to)?

      Personally, thanks for letting us know about BC, but I think you’re being a bit harsh in your criticisms. As anon put it a few days ago, “Those of us who read a lot of Chinese news know that chinaSMACK is as often late to a story as they are early, and sometimes they miss a “big” story entirely.” This site has a handful of translators while it appears as though BC has many more.

      I think that one of the biggest differences between the two sites is that chinaSMACK focuses on the netizens’ comments. They always translate them. This way, those that don’t read Chinese news (myself included) can see what the Chinese think about the stories.

      Honestly though, all I see here is an attempt by you to divert more traffic to BC. Pretty sad.

      • Dingles

        I have no relationship nor involvement with BC in any way, so nice assumption on your part.

        This site is weak on its coverage. That’s a fact. While the “Pop Songs” may have some cultural interest, there is little on here that is truly representative of whats going on here. I could have named numerous other sites besides BC, I just chose them because they seem to be a bit more serious ’bout their shiz.

        This site is much larger than BC as well as being far longer established, so that’s a poor excuse.

        • Brett Hunan

          You are missing the point. Its not about coverage, its about what the Chinese netizens are saying, whether we posters take it that way or not.

        • anon

          There have been plenty of times where chinaSMACK has failed to cover stories that are headlined on other sites. Likewise, there have been plenty of times where chinaSMACK has covered what others missed. chinaSMACK has never been comprehensive in its coverage. Did you feel that it was?

          It’s really hard to say what is “truly representative” of what’s going on in China. Do you think anti-Japanese riots following some Japanese politicians landing on Senkaku involving few hundred to a few thousand people in China is “truly representative”? Versus the billions and trillions in Chinese consumption of Japanese products and media? It’s a sensational story, totally within chinaSMACK’s remit, but have we not seen such stories before on chinaSMACK? Haven’t we seen foreigner vs. Chinese fights before too? Wasn’t there a week where all of the posts seem to be about foreigners and Chinese people and a lot of the commenters here were about to bring out the pitchforks? As Brett said I said, maybe they just haven’t gotten around to it, who knows? Maybe they got sick of doing those stories like they got sick of Shanghainese people bitching about waidiren?

          Beijing Cream does a great job posting a lot of stuff every day. They’re like Shanghaiist, lots of light fare, newsy posts, and some occasionally more serious articles. In fact, I’d say BC is doing better than Shanghaiist these days in terms of putting out a similar mix of content.

          BC’s content also has some similarities with CS, such as trying to show what’s popular on the Chinese internet, but I think they have very different approaches. BC is a very stereotypical expat/foreigner blog, with all of the commentary and gripes and inside jokes about China to go with it. CS has almost never been about commentary. It has always been about translations and comments. They translate, we interpret. Some people will enjoy the BC approach while others will enjoy the CS approach. I enjoy both. I’ve just never saw CS as being a news source. It’s always been more about observing Chinese people’s reactions.

          If you want more sensational stories more often, maybe BC will be a better source than CS.

  • reukiodo

    If HTC wants my support again, they need to make the high-end keyboard phones like they used to. Give me a removable battery. Give me a microSD card slot. Give me a 5 row hardware keyboard. Give me high-end phone specs. Then I will support you strongly again.

  • donscarletti

    These guys also got massively screwed over by a feat of “entrepreneurship” by Steve Perlman. They bought 40 million of stock in his “Onlive” company, when really, all the tech was owned by his other “Rearden Labs” company. He folded the assetless Onlive and started a new one, BAM.

  • Lakeman

    I owe a HTC, it works OK, nothng spectacular.

  • B

    “A [mainland] Chinese brand should seek [mainland] Chinese help.”

    I second that , fuck you HTC .

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