German mobile phone arm of Taiwanese group BenQ (formerly known as Siemens
Mobile) has filed for insolvency as unions and politicians protested at the
company's treatment of 3000 employees who are set to lose their jobs. BenQ had
said on Thursday it was withdrawing funding from the unit, just a year after
acquiring it from German group Siemens.
A spokeswoman for the Munich district court confirmed that BenQ had filed for
insolvency.The jobs are spread around former Siemens production sites in
Munich and in western Germany.
The leader of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Juergen Ruettgers, led a
protest by employees at the BenQ plant in Kamp-Lintfort on Friday. Ruettgers was
hoping to hold talks with the company about its decision.
The German press was
critical of BenQ's decision to pull the plug on the phone division, but said
Siemens was also to blame for raising unrealistic expectations when it sold the
BenQ boss K.Y. Lee said the company had sunk "an inordinate amount of
capital and resources" into the subsidiary, but ever deepening losses made the
decision to close it "unavoidable."
That said, I think it's unlikely we will
ever see the BenQ P51
released but at the moment that's not the point, if 3000 employees are going to
lose their job (many of them in Munich where I'm living too). Really sad to see,
what happened with one of the inventors of the GSM standard, especially because
one of my first GSM phones was a Siemens P1. A sad day for the GSM industry.
Cheers ~ Arne