Jun 21, 2021

TSMC & Foxconn to Address Taiwan’s COVID Vaccination Issue

4 min
Subject to regulatory standard-compliance, the Taiwanese government to fuse public and private procurement to bolster COVID vaccination supply chain

The government of Taiwan has announced its approval of a plan for tech titans Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Foxconn to both purchase and donate 10 million doses of the much-needed COVID-19 vaccinations, as the island nation struggles to maintain a positive flow of jabs. 


The decision was reportedly made last Friday, following a 1.5-hour meeting between Taiwanese President, Tsai Ing-wen, Foxconn founder, Terry Gou, and TSMC’s current chairman, Mark Liu. 


News of the announcement can be found on the Taiwan Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC) website: 


“The Friday meeting came amid ongoing efforts by Gou to privately procure five million BNT vaccines through his charity, an initiative the government initially treated with scepticism. However, with Taiwan facing a continued vaccine shortage, officials, including Health Minister Chen Shih-Chung, have changed their tune and publicly expressed a willingness to cooperate with private procurement efforts, as long as they meet regulatory standards.”  


According to Sophia Yang, a journalist for local media outlet Taiwan News, the governments initial scepticism may have spawned from rumours that Foxconn’s philanthropic act would come at the expense of retail shareholders, who were unable to vote or offer their opinion on the company’s initiative. However, the company issued a statement on Sunday, stating that the initiative had already been discussed with all relevant shareholders and that it was supported by the board of directors in a recent meeting. 


Why The Change of Heart?

Many commentators and critiques are questioning the sudden change of heart by the Taiwanese government. Presumably, for a start, they’re beginning to question their own ability to get themselves out of a COVID-19 vaccine-shaped hole, as the country struggles to find maintain a consistent supply of vaccinations for its population. Second, the government were potentially coerced into meeting with the industry-leading executives due to growing social media pressure ─ aptly applied by Terry Gou, himself. 


In a recent public post on his Facebook page, Gou expressed his frustration at the Taiwanese government’s reluctance to allow the country’s leading tech giants to procure vaccinations for the population. In the post, Gou shared the details of his recent attempts to gain permission from the government and claimed that the current state of COVID-19 in Taiwan was a cause for great worry and that it has been the cause of many sleepless nights. To further his appeal in the public forum, the Foxconn Founder vowed to use his ‘decades of international contacts and business experience’ to procure the vaccine in a ‘seller’s market’. 


Who Will Provide the Vaccines?

In the executives’ proposal to the government, they apparently made it clear that they would look to procure vaccinations from BioNTech ─ a leading German biotechnology company that has recently been called upon to share their vaccine technology and recipe with the rest of the world, due to its excellence. Nobody knows the exact cost of Foxconn and TSMCs plan, but it’s expected to exceed US$216mn, and once they have been purchased the doses will be sent directly to Taiwan from the manufacturing hub in Germany. 


Where Did It Go Wrong?

Taiwan, throughout the first year of the pandemic, was heralded as ─ pretty much ─ a COVID-free island nation. However, since the rise of the Delta variant, which originated on Indian soil, the country is now in the middle of an outbreak that has killed from than 450 people since mid-May. In reaction to this infiltration, the Taiwanese government has enforced social distancing rules, closed leisure venues, and called off its annual, legendary Dragon Boat Festival. 


Outbreaks of the Delta variant started in Taipei, the nation’s capital, and quickly spread to Miaoli, a neighbouring city. The effect on these major cities has resulted in semiconductor chip companies, which the nation is particularly well-known for, closing their doors, suspending operations, and building testing centres for their employees.


Ultimately, it doesn’t much matter where it went wrong for Taiwan. What matters is that the world, and especially big business, comes together to help the island nation to innoculate itself against the novel Coronavirus. Once that has been achieved, Taiwan can get back to its former levels of semiconductor production and, hopefully, save the rest of the world’s technology sector from an imminent cutting-edge flagship device-shaped collapse.


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Jul 26, 2021

Critiqom land four-year multi-million-pound procurement deal

3 min
Communications Specialist, Critiqom, secures four-year multi-million-pound agreement for supply of postal services with Scottish Procurement

Critiqom, a Scottish-based communications business, recently announced its ground-breaking multi-million deal, which will see those accessing services through Scottish Procurement given the option to modernise their communications approach. 

By providing an increased amount of choice in communications, the company says it will succeed in ensuring a reduced environmental impact linked to mail production. 

The Opus Trust Communications company, which is accessed by the likes of local authorities, police, universities, central government, and other public sector bodies, insists that choosing a local supplier to aid in enhancing the efficiency of public sector communications would subsequently speed up its goal to go green.

“This is an opportunity to look at the bigger picture and to use our knowledge to accelerate change for public sector organisations in Scotland,” says Director at Critiqom, Gerry Crawley. 

“We know that we can deliver great efficiencies and cost savings by encouraging the public sector in Scotland to adopt a new approach that embraces digital technologies.”

The tender also introduced a second lot, focusing on digital communications and hybrid mail, in an attempt to administer reduced costs for its customers. All services within the framework agreement will also be delivered in-house. 

It seems the overall aim for the deal with Scottish Procurement lies with innovating and modernising the communications sector, resulting in lower prices and an increased focus on sustainability. 

Who is Critiqom?

Based in Bellshill, Scotland, Critiqom supplies omnichannel solutions for companies, businesses, and organisations, all while claiming to provide innovation and drive engagement simultaneously with reducing the costs of its operations. 

Its vision: to become the UK’s multi-channel communication service of choice. But how is it aiming to get there?

Critiqom insists that by spearheading customer communications with partnership and modernisation, they can achieve exceptional levels of service and choice delivered to their clients. By churning out consistently high-quality operations and by generating revenue with an emphasis on sustainability, it intends to achieve the reduced costs in communications that its clients are looking for. 

Why sign the deal now?

Increasingly, more and more companies are being put under pressure to ensure their carbon footprint and sustainable strategies are aligned with, or surpassing, competition in their field. As attention is drawn to the climate and concerns arise over the sustainability of large companies in the future, the majority of businesses are battling with time to decrease their impact on the environment and ensure policies are put into place to show their progress.

Crawley states that, where possible, the company aims to provide as little distance as necessary between manufacturing and the recipient. The tender boldly claims it looks to help steer the direction in which organisations think and showcase how digitalising communications can only serve to benefit the economy and environment on a large scale.

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