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HTC's woes reflect Taiwan's troubles in high tech

HTC's woes reflect Taiwan's troubles in high tech

In 2008, when most cellphone makers were still producing old-style models with push buttons, Taiwan's HTC designed one of the first Google Android smartphone handsets. By 2011, HTC smartphones enjoyed market share over 10% worldwide, gaining a following even in the United States.

But as fast as HTC's fortunes rose, so have they fallen. Last month, the company announced it would cut 15% of its 15,700 employees, and on Monday the Taiwan stock exchange dropped HTC from its top 50 companies index.

HTC's woes reflect problems throughout Taiwan, a global high-tech hardware center. After decades of contract work for brands such as Apple, Dell and Toshiba, Taiwan is struggling to make...