The economy stagnates, and homegrown electronics brands suffer.
Once called the Asian tiger, Taiwan’s growth in the past year can be called tame at best. In the third quarter of the year, the market’s economy shrunk for the first time in six years—dropping by 1 per cent.
Heavily reliant on its exports, the market’s poor economic outlook is heavily linked to China’s slowdown.
"Inventories of electronic products are still moving slowly," the Taiwanese government said in a statement last October. "In addition, China's domestic supply chain is having the effect of crowding out" Taiwan.
Taiwan’s strongest brands, Acer and HTC, have also not been doing well in the past year. Acer, which ranked 78th in the overall Top1000 brand rankings last year has dropped to 117th this year. Even in its home market of Taiwan, Acer dropped from 36th spot in 2015 to 67th in 2016.
Struggling mobile manufacturer HTC has fared even worse. Its overall brand rankings has plunged from 131th place last year to 509 this year. In Taiwan, the fall is even steeper, from 18th last year to 129th this year. Thanks to the brand’s 378-place drop in the overall rankings, HTC has been highlighted as one of the brands that has suffered the most in the past year in our feature, Risers and Divers. Fortuntely for HTC, unlike Blackberry and Nokia, the brand has a hope of turning its fortunes around, say analysts. In April 2016, the brand launched the HTC 10, a flagship phone that on which the ailing company’s hopes are pinned.
So how has the change in fortunes affected the preferences of the Taiwanese consumer? While there has been substantial movement in the market’s top-10 brands, there are few significant changes. Sony continues to be the market’s top brand while Chanel and Apple swap places with Apple rising to 2nd and Chanel dropping to 3rd.
Apple’s ascension has come at Samsung’s cost. The Korean electronics manufacturer, while top of the regional leagues, has falled out of Taiwan’s top10, dropping from 4th place last year to 11th this year. Starbucks too has fallen from 10th last year to 12th this year.
Taiwanese however have been proving more loyal to locally grown food conglomerate Uni-President. While the brand’s performance regionally has declined from 102nd in 2015 to 115th in 2016, it has risen up the local market rankings from 12th last year to 9th spot this year.