Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corp, Reveals He Was Born in Burma

A publicity photo of HTC Corporation's Burmese-born president and CEO, Peter Chou (Photo: HTC Corporation)

A publicity photo of HTC Corporation's Burmese-born president and CEO, Peter Chou (Photo: HTC Corporation)

Peter Chou, the current chief executive officer (CEO) and president of the Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer HTC Corporation, has revealed his Burmese origins for the first time.

Chou, whose company is one of the world’s leading makers of smartphones and tablets, told an audience of young IT enthusiasts in Mandalay that he was born in Burma’s second-largest city and studied there before emigrating to Taiwan more than 30 years ago.

Although Chou’s first return visit to his native country since then coincided with President Thein Sein’s recent call to exiled intellectuals and businessmen to return to Burma, Chou said the purpose of his trip was see friends and relatives, not explore investment opportunities.

“He said this time is mainly for seeing relatives,” said Thein Htut, a computer expert who studied with Chou during his years at the Mandalay Regional College. “He said that in the future, rather than investment, he may open official HTC sale centers.”

An official at HTC’s headquarters declined to comment when asked by The Irrawaddy if the company plans to invest in Burma.

When he was still living in Burma, Chou was reportedly a schoolmate of Thaung Tin, the chairman and CEO of the KMD Group of Companies, a leading provider of IT-related services in Burma.

During his stay in Mandalay, the HTC CEO said that the city had changed a lot since he left, and that even though he had to leave Burma for better opportunities, he wanted to see his native country develop.

When he was young, Chou repaired radios and televisions for a living and later went to Taiwan and the US to continue his studies. In 2004, he became the CEO of HTC Corporation, formerly known as the High Tech Computer Corporation.

Ye Myat Thu, the director of Alpha Mandalay Company, told The Irrawaddy that Chou shared some of the details of his early struggles during his talk on Monday at the Mandalay Computer Scholar’s Association, and urged his audience to do their best to reach their goals.

“He said young people need to be innovative and at the same time be systematic in implementing their plans,” recalled Ye Myat Thu.

During his stay in Burma, Chou will reportedly visit Naypyidaw and meet with cabinet members.

19 Responses to Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corp, Reveals He Was Born in Burma

  1. Good to leaved and bad to return, if Chou staying in Mandalay he will not become
    HTC’s CEO.

  2. Due to Myanmar Government a lot of smart people and genius ran away from the country. If I have a chance I want to ask Myanmar Military Government a question, “How many children like Albert Einstein is crying for food and wasting their time running from political disaster?”

  3. I think Thein Sein must first enact officially to allow all Burmese abroad to come home and creates jobs across the country to clear out poverties from some space and build confidence among citizens not to fear to live in Burma on their own feet.

    As long as law doesn’t rightfully protect every single citizen rights, Burma will be riding the shaking plane which could crash anytime. What Burma needs most is geuinely upholding constitutional law which is rightfully in function for everyone.

    The current Burmese constitutions and laws are very much in favour to martial laws which not only protect all civilians but to prevent civilians from having it. The door is open and we all can see what is now inside Burma but the huge glass wall is still fencing in which all can bump their heads when trying to enter.

    • He ain’t a Burmese. He is ethnic Chinese. And there are many more Chinese with Burmese roots making it big in every sectors of world economy. And they are sympathetic to sad situation Burma is in and want to help. But people like tocharian, Ohn, Oo maung gyi et al are a big turn off.

  4. Peter Chou is probably linked to those KMT soldiers who ran into Burma being chased Chairman Mao’s Communist Party soldiers were after them.Now being the CEO of Taiwan company HTC funded by Ms Cher Wang,daughter of the richest man in Taiwan,the biggest maker of smartphones and tablets in China,HTC will surely do well in Burma,Peter Chou should set up HTC plant in Burma as well.

    • FYI, wang’s family is a big supporter of reunification. I am not sure how much Chou, the family friend of Wang Yong Ching, father of Wang Cher, is cut out to be anti-communist if that is your conclusion. Just because he lived in Mandalay does not mean that he is a kmt offspring. Mandalay used to have a huge Hakka, canton and hokien population. You can find pro, anti-communist and neutral among them. But they all like the wangs support reunification.

  5. One more Chinese ethnic groups you all missed in your discussion – Yunnan. He is a Yunnan but it really doesn’t matter. As long as you were born in, we are all look alike whether the government recognizes you as Burmese or not.

  6. @Chris Jericho
    yes,Peter Chou may not be related to KMT,Just my speculation based on my experience in Burmese street in Taipei.
    Well,I do not know whether Peter Chou is anti-communist as I know most of the Twiwanese especiaaly those with mainland’s connection are NOT anti-communist except the group from DPP,but they do not wish to be part of PRC as yet.It is a matter of time as Taiwan is part of China
    Thank you.

  7. The most important thing is we have to give Peter Chou to some place in Myanmar. He had been living in Myanmar for over 18years of young ages, so that I am sure he wants to help develop MYanmar. We all burmese need to welcome all of overseas burmese/chinese/indians … who was born in Myanmar.

  8. Regardless of whatever his origin, Peter Chou used to live in Mandalay for over 30 years, he grew up there, he was brought up there so i think he owes Mandalay a help to develop the place where he lived within his capacity as a part of nation building. All will appreciate his kind help. he should help develop Myanmar Mobile Market by not only opening sales center but also investing in. I hope Myanmar can be a place where HTC business can be extended.

  9. I am so glad to see that Peter is visinting Myanmar. This is good to see that the people like those are wanting to join Myanmar that Myanmar will be turned good in very soon. This is the great news to all the Burmese People.

  10. There are lots of (Burmese origin) Indian business men, IT experts,scientists and even Bollywood film directors who were kicked out from Burma during the time of dictator Ne Win. Most of the Indian origin Burmese people are still openly discriminated in the name of KALA even though they were born, brought up and educated in Burma. They are not allowed to join the higher public services, professional sectors and education ( like doctors or engineers ). Since the time of Independence till today successive governments of Burma are systematically brain washed the Burmese people to see Indian original as Kalas even though Lord Buddah was a pure Indian origin and most of the Burmese people go to Buddah Gaya as pligrimage of the life time. Sadly one of the martyrs like U Razak ( who gave his life along with Bogyoke Aung San )seems to be forgotten. I wonder when the Burmese people will wake up and give up their narrow minded concept and accept their fellow citizens as equal.

  11. Three of us(Peter, Hubert and me) visit Myanmar first time after we left together 30 years ago. We spent a lot times in Mandalay city where is our birth place. We met a lot of our old friends, ate a lot of Burmese tradition foods. Especially we climbed Mandalay hill from the bottom to the top by bare feet. That was unforgotten experiences and good times in Myanmar.

  12. George Than Setkyar Heine

    Let me make this straight:
    For that matter and in that direction Peter Chou and his relatives, friends and the likes in Burma and Taiwan should STRIVE/STRUGGLE with the people of Burma to DRIVE the pseudo-civilian regime in Naypyidaw OUT OF THE POLITICAL and GENERAL PICTURE of BURMA for a start and complete the picture by GETTING RID of the Chinese communist regime in Beijing as well.
    And together the people of Burma and China can CONTINUE to LIVE TOGETHER and IN PEACE as well as FREE PEOPLES on this earth I say.

  13. I am really proud that HTC ceo was Burmese born . Mr Peter Chou is an icon of we Burmese born.We all Burmese born wanna say “welcome”if you wanna be make HTC market at your mother land.

  14. never regret or getting worst leaving Myanmar. People left behind the country not cos’ of the place, it is cos’ of the Military. You know, they kill their own people. They jealous their own people. Though, they are good to outsiders..You can related this thinking and habit to your daily life, if you are or have a chance to work with Bamar (race). You know, it is the mindset of what “Bo Kyout Ag San” mentioned. You see Peter Chau is Chinese, though he born and grew up in Myanmar.

    • By the way, Military is only organized with pure Bama race and Buddish people. So you can see how Bamar race reflect their attitude and narrow minset.

  15. since HTC is run by the Burmese born Peter, we should support HTC products as a way of attracting Burmese born people to reveal their identity and this should reward Myanmar with more rewarding investment from these stars.
    The latest product of HTC, the HTC one is a hit product and is ranked the best product in smartphone all over the world so HTC is the top brand at the moment.
    it will be a dignity to use the HTC products in all government sectors as a way to remind people across all board that the products were made by the very Burmese born Peter and this will in turn encourage more Burmese to involve in technology and innovation, the potential benefit is incredible

  16. the magnet of Peter has to be carried on or else it will be so hard to catch up developed nations the soonest possible in innovation and technology terms.
    A model we need to show to our people is Peter
    what are we waiting for ?
    Oh yeah, president Thein Sein needs to initiate this magnet movement for the sake of future technology endorsement for Myanmar

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