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Thursday, August 23, 2001
Taiwan's brand-name CD-R producers lead world

Under pressure of an oversupply, Taiwan's CD-R producers have shifted to a strategy of expanding their own brand-name products to raise the use of their capacity. This effort had worked well judging from recent figures that showed leading Taiwan CD-R producers have been ranked among 10 leading global brand-name producers.

The latest statistics show that Princo and Ritek have, for the first time, ranked among the 10 major leading brand name lists for CD-R production among global rivals. The total brand-name product market share enjoyed by Taiwan-based companies increased 10 percent in the fist quarter compared to the same period last year. According to the Opto-electronics Industrial Association, the leading 10 brand-name CD-R producers globally have enjoyed a total market share of 70.9 percent in the first quarter, compared with last year's 68.9 figure. However, the ranking has been changing drastically, with Japan-based TDK, U.S.-based Memcorp and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. being major players.

Among the 10 major CD-R producers, Princo and Ritek held market share of 6 percent and 5 percent, respectively. Last year, only Princo was in the 10 major producer lists with a market share of 11 percent. The company, founded in September 1983, specializes in the development of thin-film technology. Ritek, which has focused on original equipment manufacturing production in the past years, has been forced to shift to a strategy of producing on a brand-name basis since earlier this year.

Powered by its huge production capacity, Ritek has chased closely behind its rival by less than 1 percent of market share up to the first quarter. Since the oversupply situation is expected to continue and the OEM market's prospects remain unclear, Ritek likely will continue its brand-name production strategy in the future. Ritek is now in the process of intensifying its merger activities in a bid to increase its market share and lower production costs. Its new round of active merger moves has been leading to a situation in which CD-R producers are becoming larger in scale.

Princo is continuing to expand production allocation in the North American market, as its rival Ritek has been intensifying its moves in the European market. In addition, Ritek earlier announced it will set up a Chinese subsidiary to produce CD-Rs and opto-communication products.

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