Company perfect for Science Park

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 November, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 06 November, 2000, 12:00am

Jake van der Kamp's 'Monitor' column, in South China Morning Post Business, on November 2, contains a number of misconceptions concerning VTech and our recent move to the Hong Kong Science Park.

Firstly, VTech has always maintained its research and development headquarters in Hong Kong. It is this headquarters operation that is moving to the Science Park, not a mere product development operation as Mr van der Kamp implies.

From here, we will co-ordinate our global research effort, which involves over 1,500 people at locations in the US, Britain, Canada and mainland China. Secondly, VTech is now very different to the company Mr van der Kamp was familiar with during his years as an analyst.

While he rightly points out that the focus of our research is to meet real market needs - one of the reasons for our success - he wrongly implies that this is low-technology research unsuited to the facility.

In fact, VTech is bringing leading-edge technology innovation to niche areas of the consumer electronics, market, such as our Internet-related appliances and our new wireless platforms.

Our recent acquisitions of the former Bell Laboratories R&D departments of Lucent Technologies' wired business and of British mobile-phone developer Sensei strengthen our capabilities in these higher technology fields. As the hub of this global research capability, Hong Kong will benefit from an inflow of ideas from these operations. VTech is thus precisely the sort of tenant that the Science Park was set up to attract.

In this sense, the Hong Kong Science Park is no different from similar facilities in Taiwan and elsewhere that from small beginnings have produced clusters of industries that underpin economies.

We fully understand Mr van der Kamp's desire to ensure that Hong Kong does not make the mistake of attracting (and subsidising) the wrong kind of technology investment. But as concerns VTech, it is he who is mistaken.



VTech Holdings Ltd