HTC Chief to Form Tech Training Foundation

Burmese-born HTC CEO Peter Chou at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. (Photo: Reuters)

Peter Chou, the chief executive officer (CEO) and president of the Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer HTC Corporation, is planning to form a foundation in Rangoon to provide young people with technology training.

The initiative will open at Rangoon University’s Myanmar Info-tech school and aims to help the next generation of Burmese entrepreneurs, he said during a speech at MICT Park. The Burmese-born business leader added that there will be no limit to the number of young people who can come and study with the scheme.

“I am working on forming the foundation but I don’t have clear plan yet,” he told The Irrawaddy. “But it will be opened soon. The foundation will not provide funding but will offer training.

“There are young people who have great ideas concerning technology but don’t have the education or resources to bring them to life, so we can help teach them to make these ideas a reality.”

Many young people attended his speech on May 19 and Chou said that lots of progress could be made. The successful businessman arrived in Burma last week to visit family members and see how he could help people living there.

A 23-year-old student who heard Chou’s speech in Rangoon told The Irrawaddy that he was very impressive.

“When I heard that he wanted to form a foundation I was very glad as I am already interested in IT but don’t know how to develop,” he said. “To get training is very expensive so many young people like me will very interested in this scheme.”

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

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

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.

Chou reportedly used to repair radios and televisions for a living before moving to Taiwan and later the United States to continue his studies. In 2004, he became the CEO of HTC Corporation, formerly known as the High Tech Computer Corporation, which posted revenue stats of almost US $10 billion in 2011.

9 Responses to HTC Chief to Form Tech Training Foundation

  1. I am proud to learn that there is a Burma-born successful leader. But it’s interesting to learn that he is now claiming that he’s from Burma. In the business leader website, it’s written as Mr.Chou’s place of birth is Taiwan. Was Mr. Chou embrassed to identify his true birth place until now that HTC may have a business interest in Burma? It appears that everyone wants a piece of Burma’s success now. Where were these people and nations when Burma civilians suffered in the past 20 years under US and EU sanctions? Who really financially helped out Burmese? The ordinary working Burmese helped out one another. Why these powerful people were not vocal about the policy and the regime at that time?

    At the end, it’s interesting to find out a man from Mandalay, Burma is able to compete his product, Android, against Steve Jobs’ idea and product, iPhone. Apple may not be too happy. Android does dominate a large market share in the US after iPhone.

    • “it appears that everyone wants a piece of burma’s success now.”
      success as in what? care to explain?

      if peter chou claims burma as his ancestry only because he wants a slice of burma’s market, he must be a bone-head CEO. how much spending power does the burmese mass have, except a tiny fraction of the ultrarich.

      the guy is already doing a favor by sharing his experience with the knowledge-starved burmese. you want to go ahead and piss him off?

      burma is doomed if the majority of population shares your mindset.

    • Android is an open source project, developed by Open Handset Alliance led mainly by Google, and it is not “Peter Chou’s product”.
      By the way, I think, Peter Chou was really born in Mandalay, so he was lying if he says he was born in Taiwan. As we all know, Obama has a similar problem. A lot of Americans still don’t believe that he was born in Hawaii. They think his birth certificate is fake!
      Anyway, it is good thing that Peter Chou wants to set up a tech training foundation in Burma, his real birthplace!

  2. Hello Tayolk,

    Helping to someone else is based on personal decision. It doesn’t mean we need to help everyone else. During the past 20 years, military government is blocking even aid from international. I don’t think Mr. Chou is there to market his phone because definitely, HTC mobile price is still beyond the effort of majority population at Myanmar (Fact). In the past, he seems to be struggling and working hard to be a person who he is now. I don’t think it is easy for a person from 3rd country to settle at oversea. Beside, if you are not a citizen you can’t hold a top position in other countries. I don’t know exactly but it is just my speculation. If you want, why not you work hard and try to be a successful business man to help people at Myanmar? Last but not least, if these powerful people were once ordinary working Burmese people too 🙂 It is the military government that make all those smart and genius people ran away from country. Finally,”Life is what you make it “

  3. Burma is Burma no matter he claimed as he is Burma born or not.
    Wish he makes it happen the foundation which will help our people.
    I am android fan,next time I will choose HTC as a token of small favour in return.

  4. All my support to Mr. Chou and thankful for the Burmese kids who will have a chance to advance there IT interest. Proud that one of our Mandalayan is there to give a helping hand.

  5. Hi Folks,To me it looks good deeds. Good deeds never late. Whether it is for marketing or not, to young, those are hungry for tech, it is beneficial. Cheers.

  6. Have you all forgotten the past that soon!

    Why do you always see the negative of everyone?

    Yes he may wish to have a win/win situation but that is still a positive initiative as we have none at the moment.

    A Burmese born were not allowed to visit Burma before till recently.

    The only way to enter the country was to have place of birth in another country.

    All of us had to do what every we had to due to political and financial reasons.

    Just ask any seaman and ask them about their struggles at Burmese Embassies. We were treated less than Human beings.

    Please do not forget this and remember Burma is in our Hearts forever even if we live abroad currently.

    Have a great day!

  7. Three of us(Peter, Hubert and myself) planned to visit Myanmar few months ago and we finally made it in May. We want to visit especially our birth-place Mandalay city where we left together over 30 years ago. I’d like to clear some folks’ doubt mind that this trip was for us simply to meet our old friends and relatives, no business involved.

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