Intel To Promote Cloud Computing In Taiwan

Intel CEO Paul Otellini on Thursday appeared at a press conference in Taipei, Taiwan to announce the expansion of Intel's partnership with Taiwan's government and industries in cloud computing.

This despite reports earlier on Thursday that the chipmaker had not been able to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Taiwanese government due to Taiwan's disappointment over Intel's inability to fulfill a previous MOU with the Ministry of Economic Affairs regarding WiMAX signed in 2008.

Otellini said Taiwan had joined Intel's Cloud Computing Development Initiative. In addition, he announced that Intel had expanded its collaboration with the Ministry of Education in order to help Taiwan keep pace with cloud computing, and that Intel plans to work with Taiwan's National Science Council to establish a Research and Development center in Taiwan.

"The new era of computing is creating exciting opportunities for innovation and growth," Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini said at the press conference. Otellini added that the partnership between Taiwan and Intel was "remarkably synergistic" and served to "illustrate the government's clear, forward-looking IT strategy."

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"The MOEA initiated the Cloud Computing Industry Development Initiative earlier this year to develop Taiwan as a leading provider of cloud computing application and system integration services," said Dr. Yen-Shiang Shih, Minister of Economic Affairs, in a press statement. "We are pleased to have Intel support our initiative to transform Taiwan's IT industry with the development of new software and service capabilities."

Next: A New Open Data Center Alliance Member

Otellini also announced that Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom, which is currently building data centers for Taiwan's cloud computing industry, would join Intel's Open Data Center Alliance, which the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company unveiled Wednesday.

"Taiwan’s government has identified the growing cloud computing segment as a paradigm shift and growth opportunity for the IT industry," the company said in a statement. Intel added it would provide Inventec and Wistron technologies for Taiwan's cloud data center infrastructure as part of its pledged support. However, according to a report from Digitimes on Thursday, Taiwan's economics minister Shih Yen-shiang had decided not to attend the Intel event or sign the MOU and instead have his vice economics minister Huang Chung-chiu attend the event without signing the agreement.

In addition, according to "reliable sources" quoted in the Digitimes story and echoed by a number of other sources, Otellini would not be able to meet with the minister during his visit in Taiwan due to the minister's time constraints.

A Previous Agreement Left Unfulfilled

The purported reason for Taiwan's unwillingness to sign an MOU with Intel was that Intel has not yet fulfilled its end of a previous MOU with Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs regarding WIMAX cooperation signed in 2008. "Huang told Digitimes in a recent interview that the Taiwan government already knows that Intel will not fulfill its promise and the company's ignoring of the MOU has angered Taiwan's IT players," Digitimes said on Thursday.

An Intel spokesperson confirmed that Intel had signed several MOUs with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Education, the National Science Council and Chinghwa Telecom.

The initial MOU between Intel and Taiwan was signed in 2006. The company agreed in 2008 with Taiwan's Council for Economic Planning and Development to use Taiwan as a test base for WIMAX. However, originally scheduled to be finalized by the end of 2008, the program has yet to reach its long-awaited conclusion.