Taiwan's CD-ROM manufacturing industry is apparently one of the beneficiaries of the Asian currency crisis.
The plummeting value of Korea's won has forced companies like Samsung and LG Electronics that lack the necessary capital to import drive components to shift their customer orders to Taiwanese CD-ROM makers, according to a report in the online version of Nikkei Business Publications.
American analysts agree that Taiwan and Hong Kong, which both boast a much more stable economy than Korea, have already benefited from the rapid devaluation of the won.
"Taiwan and Hong Kong are weathering the storm extremely well," said Mary Bourdon, a Dataquest analyst.
"We're hearing initially that a good 35 percent of the worldwide CD-ROM manufacturing is now coming out of Taiwan," Bourbon said, with some of the actual manufacturing done by Taiwanese firms in mainland China. Taiwan accounted for around 15 percent of the market last year, she said.
According to Bourdon, Taiwan's capital is far more evenly distributed among small and large businesses than Korea's, where a few large corporations control much of the market. Even capital distribution, along with lower labor costs and the ability to tolerate lower price margins, have enabled Taiwan to prosper in the few months since Korea's currency has plummeted, Bourdon said.
Taiwanese companies like Acer have already benefited from the shift in customer orders, Bourbon said.