Acer

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Acer
Type Publicly-traded
Founded 1976 as Multitech International
Founder(s) Stan Shih
Headquarters Taiwan
Area served worldwide
Key people Stan Shi (founder), J.T. Wage (Chairman and CEO), Gianfranco Lanci (President)
Industry technology
Products Computer hardware and software

Acer is an information and communications technology (ICT) company based in Taiwan. According to its website, Acer Inc. is one of the world's largest PC manufacturers, with revenue of $461.7 billion worldwide in 2007..[1] However, stopped all manufacturing in 2000 and has since become a marketer of personal electronics such as PCs, mobile phones, and cameras.[2]

Company History

Acer was founded by Stanley Shih as "Multitech", an Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) company, in 1976. The company developed LCD displays and the integrated circuit in a joint venture with Texas Instruments, and Acer itself was established as a PC and laptop manufacturer and brand in 1987. Acer was supplied parts by contractors and its subsidiaries in Taiwan throughout the 1990s, and in 1999 it built a factory in Zhongshan (Guangdong province) of China. The Winston Group, a former subsidiary of Acer, is now a contractor to the non-manufacturing Acer Brand Operation, which conducts primarily branding, marketing, and service operations. Acer has historically been unsuccessful in the U.S., but it has large markets in Europe and Asia.[3]

Historical Financial Information

Business Strategy

Political and Public Influence

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Political Contributions

Lobbying

Corporate Accountability

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Labor

Acer is one of the major purchasers of electronics produced at the Lite-On Computer Technology production facility in Shijie Town, Dongguan Province, China (founded 1997).[4] By early 2008, the facility employed about 5000 people who enter the company by paying agencies based in Shijie town, Dongguan, 500-600 yuan (for men) or 200 yuan (for women). [4] While Lite-On production schedules follow a normal 8-hour workday, breaks consist of only 10 minutes twice a day and are unpaid – further, overtime work in the evenings, on weekends, and especially during busy seasons, is mandatory and can reach up to 100 hours a month, in violation of both Chinese Labor Law and the [EICC] standard. [4] Basic wages at Lite-On complied with Chinese minimum wage laws (690 yuan/month in 2007), but until mid-to-late 2007 when overtime began being paid at twice the standard weekend rate (8.24 yuan/hour) the company violated overtime wage laws by paying over 2 yuan less per hour. [4] A fire in the factory in February of 2008 has caused workers to be extremely concerned about their safety, and as of May 2008 production had not yet fully resumed at full capacity due to the damage the fire had caused. [4] Workers are charged up to one quarter of their wages on food, electricity, and water for eating and living in the factory dormitories, which house up to 16 people per room. [4] Research conducted by [SACOM] and [Bread for All] in early 2008 concluded that workers at Lite-On were unaware of their rights under either [EICC] standards or any of the codes of conduct of Lite-On’s customers, including Acer.[4]

Acer purchases power supply devices including invertors, converters, and adapters from the Yonghong Electronics factory in Shenzhen. Yonghong is a member of the FSP Group and was founded in May 2000. In 2006, it was found to employ children under the age of 16, though by 2008 only workers of legal age were found to be working in the factory.[5] Workers at the factory are forced to work up to 7 days a week and 100-200 hours of overtime a month, in clear violation of Chinese labor law. Exhaustion is a common problem amongst workers at the factory, and they are often paid wages below the legal minimum, especially probationary (new) workers. [6] While some workers are paid the legal minimum wage of 750 yuan/month, the system in place to pay overtime wages does not pay for more than 3 hours of overtime a day, even though workers are forced to work longer in order to make the daily production quotas. [7] Because of the repetitive nature of the factory work and the extreme long hours, besides exhaustion, workers suffer from repetitive motion injuries, and neck, shoulder, and back pain are common. [7] The problem is exacerbated by the management policy that fines workers for moving their chairs from a yellow line painted on the floor to make all chairs placed in a straight line, a policy even worse for smaller employees who are not close enough to reach their work tables comfortably. [7] Workers are not provided with hazard or safety training or face masks and inhale fumes produced by soldering. [8] Workers at the Yonghong factory are not permitted to stop working there, despite the Chinese labor law code which allows for resignation with one-month prior notice. Employees complain that management refuses to look at their applications of resignation. [8] Workers sleep in rooms with 12 people in the dormitories, and they expressed concerns to SACOM interviewers about the quality and cleanliness of the food provided to them. [9]

Lite-On Xuji Electronics Co., Ltd. Is a keyboard manufacturer based in Dongguan, China. The factory was founded in 1995, and while Dell is its major buyer, Lite-On Xuji sells keyboards to Acer, Apple, Foxconn, Gateway, HP, IBM, Lenovo, Logitech, Microsoft, NEC, Sony, and Toshiba.[10] According to a 2008 report conducted by SACOM and Bread for All, the factory employed 3000 workers who work between 10 and 12 hours a day.[10] The factory began paying workers legal wages and overtime wages in 2008, while they had been paying illegally low wages in 2006 and 2007.[11] However, workers continue to work more than 100 overtime hours per month, well about the legal limit of 36 overtime hours monthly.[11] Due to long hours standing, repetitive tasks, and high work speed, workers suffer from swollen legs, back pain, and other repetitive motion injuries, as well as irritation from paint and paint thinner fumes name="high tech 31-2"> Jenny Chan, the Research Team of SACOM, and Bread for All. May 2008. “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow-up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” P. 31-2.</ref>. Despite these problems, Xuji factory has no program in place to “identify, evaluate, and control the hazards that arise from physically demanding work.”[11] Management threatens workers who make mistakes with the possibility of the withdrawal of factory client orders. name="high tech 31"> Jenny Chan, the Research Team of SACOM, and Bread for All. May 2008. “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow-up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” P. 31.</ref> Worker dormitories are very crowded and noisy, housing 16 workers per room, who must share all facilities in common and often have trouble sleeping due to noise. name="high tech 32"> Jenny Chan, the Research Team of SACOM, and Bread for All. May 2008. “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow-up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” P. 32.</ref> While workers were not aware of their labor rights under the EICC, they still “expressed the urgent need” for safety training as well as shortened standing work hours or at least longer breaks and rest periods. name="high tech 32"> Jenny Chan, the Research Team of SACOM, and Bread for All. May 2008. “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow-up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” P. 32.</ref>

Human Rights

Environment

In a recent ranking of Greener Electronics, Greenpeace International gave Acer a score of 4.3 out of a possible 10 points, earning positive points for a commitment to phase out hazardous chemicals by 2012 and negative points for both e-waste and energy.[12]

Consumer Protection and Product Safety

Anti-Trust and Tax Practices

Social Responsibility Initiatives

Business Scope

Subsidiaries

The PanAcer Group

  • Acer Inc (Core brand)
  • Weblink
  • HiTRUST
  • Lottery Technology
  • TWP
  • Sertek
  • Apacer


BenQ Corp

  • AU Optronics
  • Darfon
  • Daxon
  • Darly
  • BenQ Mobile System
  • Copax


(The Winstron Group, former subsidiary, now manufacturing supplier)

  • Winstron Corp (contract manufacturing, PC/Notebook components/assembly)
  • AOpen (PC parts and peripherals)
  • Winstron Software
  • Winstron NeWeb(designs and manufactures wireless equipment)
  • Winstron NExus
  • Mirrors (contract software development)
  • AnexTEK (storage networking products)
  • Playcoo (game development)
  • M-Display (designs TFT-LCD displays)
Customers Suppliers Creditors Competitors
Customer 1 Supplier 1 Creditor 1 Dell
Customer 2 Supplier 2 Creditor 2 Hewlett-Packard
Customer 3 Supplier 3 Creditor 3 Lenovo
Customer 4 Supplier 4 Creditor 4 Competitor 4


Financial Information

Ticker Symbol:
Main Exchanges:
Investor Website:

Shareholder % Total Shares held
Shareholder 1 % Held 1
Shareholder 2 % Held 2
Shareholder 3 % Held 3
Shareholder 4 % Held 4

Largest Shareholders

Geographic scope paragraph

Country Revenue Profits Assets Employees
Country 1 Revenue 1 Profit 1 Assets 1 Employees 1
Country 2 Revenue 2 Profit 2 Assets 2 Employees 2
Country 3 Revenue 3 Profit 3 Assets 3 Employees 3
Country 4 Revenue 4 Profit 4 Assets 4 Employees 4

Governance

  • Stan Shih (founder)
  • J.T. Wang (Chairman and CEO)
  • Gianfranco Lanci (President)


Divisions

  • Chief Financial Officer
  • General Auditor
  • Corporate Strategy Office
  • IT Products Business
  • Value Labs
  • e-Enabling Services
  • Channel Business
  • China Operations
  • Taiwan Operations
  • Pan America Operations
  • Europe, Middle East & Africa Operations
  • Asia Pacific Operations
  • Human Resources
  • Finance
  • Branding
  • Information Technology
  • Legal
  • General Affairs

Contact Information

Global Headquarters
Acer Inc.
8F, 88, Sec.1, Hsin Tai Wu Rd., Hsichih,
Taipei, Hsien 221, Taiwan, R.O.C.
Tel: +886-2-2696-1234/3131
Fax: +886-2-2696-3535
http://www.acer.com
http://www.acer.com.tw

Articles and Resources

Books on the Company

Related SourceWatch Articles

Sources

  1. [1]
  2. Monina Wong, "The ICT Hardware Sector in China and Corporate Social Responsibility Issues", June 2005.
  3. [Ibid.]
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Jenny Chan, the Research Team of Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) and Chantal Peyer (Bread for All). “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow Up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” May 2008. p. 10. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name ".E2.80.9Dhightech.E2.80.9D" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name ".E2.80.9Dhightech.E2.80.9D" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name ".E2.80.9Dhightech.E2.80.9D" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name ".E2.80.9Dhightech.E2.80.9D" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name ".E2.80.9Dhightech.E2.80.9D" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name ".E2.80.9Dhightech.E2.80.9D" defined multiple times with different content
  5. Jenny Chan, the Research Teach of SACOM, and Bread for All. May 2008. “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow-Up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” P. 11
  6. Jenny Chan, the Research Teach of SACOM, and Bread for All. May 2008. “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow-Up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” P. 12
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Jenny Chan, the Research Teach of SACOM, and Bread for All. May 2008. “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow-Up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” P. 13
  8. 8.0 8.1 Jenny Chan, the Research Teach of SACOM, and Bread for All. May 2008. “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow-Up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” P. 14 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "high_tech_14" defined multiple times with different content
  9. Jenny Chan, the Research Teach of SACOM, and Bread for All. May 2008. “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow-Up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” P. 14-15
  10. 10.0 10.1 Jenny Chan, the Research Team of SACOM, and Bread for All. May 2008. “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow-up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” P. 30.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Jenny Chan, the Research Team of SACOM, and Bread for All. May 2008. “High Tech – No Rights? A One Year Follow-up Report on Working Conditions in China’s Electronic Hardware Sector.” P. 31.
  12. "Greener Electronics: Acer" accessed July 2008.