Outlook Bleak For Taiwan’s Small B2C Firms: Report

[ASIA] B2C revenues are expected to almost double in Taiwan in 2001, but many small, Web-only B2C enterprises will struggle to survive, the Chinese-language Commercial Times reported Tuesday.

The state-sponsored Institute for Information Industry predicts that B2C revenues will increase from last year’s NT $3.95 billion (US $120 million) to NT $7.54 billion (US $230 million), the report said.

B2C ventures in Taiwan are battling against a stagnant economy and a highly-developed retail sector. Moreover, many Internet users are skeptical about the security of online transactions.

Many in the Internet industry expect that the first six months of this year will be a period of consolidation, the newspaper said.

Companies with capital of less than NT $50 million (US $1.5 million) will likely have to merge, or find backers with deep pockets, if they are to survive into the second half of the year.

Established brick-and-mortar enterprises are seen as more likely to succeed in the B2C field than Web-only startups, the report said.

One such company cited in the Commercial Times article, bookstore chain Kingstone, Tuesday announced plans to sell books over the Web beginning June this year.

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