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Computex slated for September

Organizers reschedule the Taiwanese trade show, one of the world's largest annual technology events, after postponing it because of the SARS outbreak.

Computex, the Taiwanese tech trade show recently postponed by the SARS outbreak, has been rescheduled for September, organizers said Wednesday.

The show, one of the largest annual tech events, was supposed to take place June 2-6 in Taipei. But the onset in Asia of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, prompted a number of cancellations and travel warnings, in turn leading the show's organizers--the China External Trade Development Board and the Taipei Computer Association--to postpone the show until the second half of the year.

The event is now set for Sept. 22-26 in Taipei.

Taiwan has been one of the countries most affected by the spread of the disease. Several organizations curbed travel to the country. A potential SARS case also prompted Dell Computer to shut its Taipei office.

Before Computex was postponed, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou last month embarked on a massive direct-mail campaign in a bid to encourage attendees not to cancel.

Computex is the third largest tech trade show in terms of attendees, coming in behind Germany's CeBit and Las Vegas' Comdex, but it differs from those two in its emphasis. Brand-name companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Toshiba largely occupy the show floors at CeBit and Comdex. Exhibitors at Computex, by contrast, are primarily contract manufacturers such as Quanta, which design and manufacture products for the HPs and Toshibas of the world.

The scheduling shift may benefit attendance. The June show has often coincided with the beginning of typhoon season in Taiwan, a wet, hot and humid period occasioned by flight cancellations.