Intel Cancels IDF in Taiwan, Trims China Due to Downturn

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The global economic downturn has prompted chip giant Intel to cancel its yearly Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Taipei and to trim its Beijing IDF to just a day.

The move is another indication of the speed and severity of the global economic downturn. Most companies have said they will attempt to support key budgets such as development and marketing due to the need to promote business through the economic doldrums. The IDF events handle both causes for Intel, giving the company a venue to show off new innovations and time for company technicians to work with developers, the people who design gadgets and components around Intel microprocessors.

"Given the current economic circumstances and business pressures the industry is facing globally, IDF 2009 Beijing is being reformatted to a one day event," Intel said on its developer Web site. A company spokesman in Singapore confirmed cancellation of the Taipei event.

The last time Intel cancelled IDFs in Asia was in the first half of 2003, when fears of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus prompted it to skip IDFs in Taipei and Beijing.

Intel has hosted an IDF in Taipei since 1996, according to the company's Web site.

The Beijing event has been rescheduled to just April 8, instead of the original dates of April 8 and 9, and will focus on local issues.

Intel plans to use Taipei's Computex Taipei 2009 trade show, which runs June 2-6, as an alternative place to make global company announcements. Computex is one of the world's largest computer and consumer electronics shows.

"We'll be at Computex in a big way," said Nick Jacobs, head of corporate communications for Intel, Asia Pacific. The company will have executives on hand at the show and reveal some innovations there.

To make sure developers feel they're getting the support they need from Intel, Jacobs said the chip maker will increase the amount of seminars and other work it does with developers online, something Intel has been doing more of in recent years.

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