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Taiwan: ASUS will ‘evacuate’ Russia after Ukraine urges exit

WorldTaiwan: ASUS will 'evacuate' Russia after Ukraine urges exit

Taipei (Times Of Ocean)- Taiwan’s economy minister said on Monday that Taiwanese computer maker ASUS (2357.TW) would consider “evacuating” its staff and business from Russia after Ukraine’s minister asked it to leave.

Ukraine’s deputy prime minister and minister of digital transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, tweeted a letter asking ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih to end business in Russia on Thursday.

Russia has invaded Ukraine in what Kremlin calls a “special operation.”

“@ASUS, Russians have no moral right to use your brilliant technology! It’s for peace, not for war!” Fedorov added in a separate tweet.

In response to a question about the letter, Taiwan’s Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua said Taiwan stands with other democracies and has taken action against Russia, but could not comment on individual companies’ actions.

ASUSTeK Computer Inc did not respond to a request for comment.

Wang said her “initial understanding” was that the company would conduct “relevant business and personnel evacuation as soon as possible” following the outbreak of the war.

As she spoke on the sidelines of a parliament session discussing the impact of the war on Taiwan’s economy, she told reporters, “The company will pay attention to its reputation.”

Following the letter’s tweet, ASUS faced calls for a boycott on social media, which was picked up by Taiwanese media on Saturday.

The criticism is embarrassing for Taiwan, which has joined Western-led sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine amid cross-party sympathy and support for Kyiv.

Many Taiwanese see parallels with the military threat Taiwan faces from China, which sees Taiwan as its own.

Russia is not a big market for any major Taiwanese company.

ASUS does not break down its revenue by country. Europe accounted for only a third of its revenue in the third quarter of last year.

According to the company’s latest quarterly report, it has a fully owned Russian sales unit, though it has similar units around the world; in Ukraine, there is a product support unit.

Early Monday, its shares fell more than 2%, while the broader market was flat.

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