Troubled BenQ a no-show at Computex

Last year, BenQ Corp. had a large Computex booth inside Hall 2 of the Taipei World Trade Center. This year, the troubled electronics maker is staying away from Taiwan’s largest hardware show while it moves toward spinning off its branded-products business.

“We had a change in our exhibition strategy at the end of last year,” a company spokeswoman said Wednesday. In addition to deciding not to attend Computex 2007, the company did not attend the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

BenQ chose not to attend these shows, which are among the world’s largest and most important, in order to save money for other marketing activities, the spokeswoman said. BenQ hasn’t made a decision on which exhibitions it plans to attend next year.

Computex is the highlight of the calendar for Taiwanese electronics firms, which manufacture the bulk of the world’s computer and electronics products. For Taiwanese companies, having a presence at the show, which is organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council and Taipei Computer Association, is considered a sign of support for the island nation’s electronics industry and most companies attend.

BenQ, which sells laptops, monitors, and LCD (liquid crystal display) televisions, has had a difficult time recently. The company is trying to recover from its ill-fated acquisition of Siemens AG’s mobile-phone unit. The company last year said it would stop investing in BenQ Mobile GmbH & Co. OHG after losing an estimated US$1 billion in an effort to turn the unit around.

In April, BenQ announced plans to spin off its branded-products business on Sept. 1 and change its name to Jia Da Corp. Once the branded business is spun off, Jia Da plans to focus exclusively on contract manufacturing, which accounts for 60 percent to 70 percent of the company’s business.