HTC Chief to Form Tech Training Foundation

By The Irrawaddy 23 May 2012

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.