Foxconn's Hon Hai sets up new research center in Sharp's backyard

New research center hopes to recruit top talent from Japan

Foxconn's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. has set up a new research center devoted to display and touch technologies in Japan that could end up hiring staff away from Sharp.

The new center, called Foxconn Japan RD Co., represents a major investment for Hon Hai and aims to recruit top talent from the country, the company said in Friday statement. The center will work in tandem with the company's existing R&D resources in China and Taiwan to further improve its screen technology.

The initial facility will be based in the Japanese cities of Sakai and New Yokohama, but Hon Hai could expand the research center to other areas in the future. Leading the center is Kouzoh Yano, who's been listed as a general manager with Sharp, and an expert in LCD technology, according to Hon Hai. It's unclear if Yano is still employed with Sharp.

The research center will be crucial in forming Hon Hai's strategy to connect different devices under a cloud service, the company added. Technology developed from the center will be used in consumer and commercial products, and possibly in healthcare instruments. The panels will range from small-scale displays for smartphones up to 60-inch monitors for TVs.

Hon Hai made the announcement after it failed to secure a deal to become a major shareholder of Sharp.

The Taiwanese manufacturing giant, which is best known for building Apple's iPhone, wants greater access to Sharp's leading display technologies to compete with Samsung, according to analysts. In return, Sharp would have received a major investment at a time when the company continues to struggle financially. Last year, the company announced it would cut 2,000 jobs.

A possible deal may have stalled between the companies, but Hon Hai continues to show interest in tapping Japan's technology base, said Annabelle Hsu, an analyst with IDC.

"Japan leads in screen technology, and so the company wants to hire people in Japan," Hsu said, adding that Hon Hai has been weak in R&D in the past. "This could be a good opportunity for them."

Hon Hai's research center in Japan will be partially based in Sakai, where Sharp's major LCD plant is also located.

IDG News Correspondent Jay Alabaster contributed to this report.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuesFoxconn Technology GroupsharpComponentsinvestmentsdisplays

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?