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Acer looks to Net for bigger profit role

Acer Group will increase its investment in Internet-related businesses as growth of its core computer hardware business has slowed.

Taiwan-based computer giant Acer Group will increase its investment in Internet-related businesses as growth of its core computer hardware business has slowed.

(SCMP.com) - Stan Shih, chief executive of one of the largest computer and peripheral hardware makers on the island, expected Acer's computer sales growth to remain slow in the long term.

Computer sales are growing at about 10 per cent this year, compared with 15 per cent to 20 per cent in the past few years, he said.

He was speaking at the launch ceremony of Hitrust (HK), Acer's indirect joint venture with e-commerce security solutions provider United States-based Verisign and locally listed New World CyberBase.

Hitrust (HK) is majority-owned by Hitrust.com, with the remainder by e-commerce solutions and infrastructure provider New World CyberBase.

Hitrust.com is a Taiwan-based joint venture whose largest shareholder is 30 per cent stakeholder Acer.

Hitrust (HK) and Hitrust.com are re-sellers of Verisign's security solutions for e-commerce operators.

Mr Shih would not disclose Acer's planned investment budget for Internet-related businesses, saying only that they account for less than 5 per cent of Acer's revenue.

Acer's personal computer sales are expected to rank fifth in the fourth quarter in the mainland market, he said, compared with sixth in the third quarter, and below 10th position last year.

He expected the overall mainland personal computer market - led by Legend, IBM and Great Wall Technology - to see growth of more than 40 per cent next year.