With an end of year deadline having passed and no new investors having come forward, BenQ Mobile looks to be doomed. The loss making company was sold in 2005 by Germany’s Siemens to BenQ, which is Taiwan’s biggest mobile phone group. But in September the Taiwanese said it was uneconomic and cut off financing. Two thirds of the 3,000 workers have already been laid off and the rest will go when the current line of products being manufactured is completed.
Siemens was once one of the top three mobile phone makers, but by late last year BenQ’s world market share had fallen to just 2.4% with six million phones sold. By contrast, industry leader Nokia had 35.1% and sales of 88 million. Some union leaders are clinging to the hope that BenQ can be saved in some form and said that an unnamed new investor has declared an interest, but an official at a court in Munich, where the firm has its headquarters, said that official insolvency proceedings have now begun.