Yageo Corp, the Taiwan-based electronic component flagship, is planning on investing heavily in what it sees as a highly promising Chinese mainland market.

Remko Rosman, Yageo president, said in an interview yesterday in Beijing that his company would invest as much as US$80 million in the next year to strengthen its production base in Suzhou and build its fourth global research and development (R&D) center in the East China city. "With the relocation of the electronics industry around the world, we are moving to capitalize on the changes," said Rosman.

Yageo will invest US$40-50 million in its Suzhou production and research base next year and relocate production facilities worth some US$20-30 million from other bases in Europe and in China's Taiwan Province. Yageo started to build a multilayer ceramic capacitor (MLCC) line last month and will start another one in six months. Next year it will build a MLCC front end production line. When the work is completed, it will become the largest single MLCC factory in the world, capable of producing 3 billion capacitors a month. Yageo will start to produce antennas for mobile phones and notebooks with wireless Internet connection functions this quarter to meet market demands.

The chip resistor facility in Suzhou, already the world's biggest, capable of producing 10 billion pieces a month, may also be expanded next year to strengthen its role as the world's No 1 maker, depending on market conditions. At the same time, Yageo has started construction of an R&D center in Suzhou, to add to those it already has in Europe, Japan and Taiwan Province. The center is expected to be completed by the end of next year and will employ 30 engineers to serve the needs of local customers.

Yageo, one of the earliest Taiwanese electronics companies to invest in the Chinese mainland, which it did in 1996, has spent a total of US$200 million in building two production bases in Dongguan of South China's Guangdong Province and Suzhou, and three logistics centers – one in each of the two cities and one in Hong Kong.

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