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Cher Wang, Chairperson of HTC, Women Entrepreneur, Cher Wang Biography,
Founder Stories Women Entrepreneur

Cher Wang: Pioneer in Taiwanese Technology

Cher Wang, a Taiwanese entrepreneur and the co-founder and chairperson of HTC Corporation and VIA Technologies, stands as a beacon of success in the realm of computer technology. Born into a prominent business family on 14 September 1968, Cher Wang inherited her entrepreneurial spirit from her father, Wang Yung-Ching, founder of the Formosa Plastics Group, Taiwan’s leading plastics and petrochemicals conglomerate until his passing in 2008. As of 2014, Forbes ranked her as the 54th most powerful woman in the world, highlighting her influence and achievements.

Cher Wang

Early Life and Education

Cher Wang’s educational journey commenced at The College Preparatory School in Oakland, California, before she pursued a bachelor’s degree in Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, graduating in 1981. Her career began at First International Computer (FIC) in 1982, a motherboard manufacturing company, where she embarked on international marketing journeys to promote personal computer motherboards.

Entrepreneurial Ventures

While at FIC, Cher Wang launched Leo Computers, a new personal computer brand, which faced initial setbacks and closed shortly after its launch. Undeterred, her extensive travels across Europe sparked an idea: the need for a portable handheld device to replace bulky PCs. Teaming up with friends H.T. Cho and Peter Cho, and encouraged by a Microsoft acquaintance’s interest in Windows CE devices, Cher founded HTC (High Tech Computer Corporation) in 1997.

Initially focusing on notebook manufacturing, HTC pivoted to handheld devices by 1998, developing some of the world’s earliest touch and wireless handheld devices. Despite initial challenges common to startups, Wang’s unwavering vision and substantial investments propelled HTC forward. The company secured its first breakthrough contract in 2000 to produce the Compaq Aero PDA, followed by partnerships with major brands like O2, T-Mobile, Orange, and Palm for mobile phone and PDA manufacturing. HTC also manufactured Google’s first Android phone, the G1, marking a significant milestone.

HTC’s Expansion and Achievements

Under Wang’s leadership, HTC acquired Dopod International in 2007 and launched its first GSM mobile phone in 2008, followed by its debut touchscreen smartphone powered by Windows OS in 2009. By 2010, HTC sold over 24.6 million handsets and earned accolades such as “Device Manufacturer of the Year” at the Global Mobile Awards in 2011. The company soared to become the third-largest smartphone manufacturer globally, surpassing industry giants like Apple and Samsung in various quarters.

Expanding beyond smartphones, HTC ventured into Internet of Things (IoT) and virtual reality (VR). In 2018, HTC partnered with Animoca, focusing on games, machine learning, augmented reality, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and VR technologies. Despite recent challenges, HTC remains integral to Taipei’s tech and startup ecosystem, underscoring Cher Wang’s enduring impact and leadership.

Legacy and Inspiration

Cher Wang’s journey from corporate executive to co-founding one of Taiwan’s foremost tech companies is a testament to her visionary leadership and resilience. Her role as a trailblazing woman in technology, guiding HTC to significant global prominence, remains unparalleled. Wang’s advice to aspiring entrepreneurs reflects her humility and continuous pursuit of innovation: “As entrepreneurs, we must continue to ask ourselves What’s Next? It takes humility to realize we don’t know everything, not to rest on our laurels, and to know that we must keep learning and observing. If we don’t, we can be sure some startup will be there to take our place.”

Personal Life

Cher Wang is a devoted Christian married to Wen Chi Chen, CEO of VIA Technologies, with whom she has two children. Despite her influential role, Wang prefers to stay out of the limelight but remains active in Taiwan’s political landscape, supporting causes like the 1992 Consensus and endorsing Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou’s re-election bid.

Cher Wang’s indelible mark on Taiwan’s technology sector and her journey from a corporate world explorer to a tech entrepreneur is a testament to perseverance and vision. Her story serves as an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs worldwide, illustrating that with determination and innovation, transformative success is within reach.


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