Large independent cotton textile weavers used to be located in the cotton weaving textile industrial areas in the western part of Japan. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the various factors contributing to the successes or failures of large cotton weavers; while some large cotton weavers succeeded and survive to this day, many more were forced to discontinue their business activities. The methods of analysis are based on case studies of each company through interviews, or oral history. The definition of “large” cotton weaver in this paper is 1) ownership of 1, 000 rooms, either before or after the Second World War or 2) a turnover that had once exceeded 8 billion yen. Out of 23 cotton weavers that fall under these conditions, 7 companies still survive, while 16 have disbanded. Concerning the origins of various cotton weaving industrial areas located in Sennan, Senboku, Chita, Banshu, Enshu, Chugoku, etc., 15 companies out of 23 were situated in Sennan, Senboku, and Chita. Most of the large weavers were originally form these three areas because of contracts from large textile mills and trading firms for mass production of grey fabrics for export. From the middle-1980s, however, export of such mass production fabrics as poplin, broad and lawn for started to wane because of yen appreciation production of these fabrics consequently lost in the competition for exports, and a big increase in imported fabrics and apparels followed. Those large weavers who succeeded in converting to either heavy gauge fabrics, like twill or denim, or high value-added thin gauge fabrics for domestic usage, which China could not produce, were able to survive. Those who relied on large textile mills for mass production products for export failed to survive. Finally, this paper concludes that the main factor determining the ability or failure to survive, was the speed at which company management was capable of switching its products from the exports to domestic market.
This article examines entrepreneurial activities in Chinese domestic cotton spinning industry (minzokubo) in the 1930s. Contrary to previous studies that have described “declining” tendency of minzokubo, this article gives attention to its “rising” tendency. The entrepreneurial activities based on the development of minzokubo are analyzed. First, the adoption, by Chinese entrepreneurs, of experts in textile manufacturing technology as middle-managers is pointed out. In the following section, changes in interfirm relationships, administrative management, capital accumulation, and market strategy for producing high-quality cotton goods are described. Further, the author pays special attention to such business activities as raw cotton cultivation, manufacturing of textile machinery, and supply of technicians. Along with the reform of administrative management, the profits gained were well reserved in the firms. In order to secure the domestic market, the entrepreneurs aggressively introduced the vertical integration strategy from spinning to weaving, finishing, and even to raw cotton cultivation and textile machinery production. All this was lead by the major minzokubo. The entrepreneurs and their families in China kept firm control of the top management even in the 1930s. They tried to found such business associations as the Greater Japan Cotton Spinners' Association, which did not function satisfactorily. However, the intimate link among entrepreneurs played an important role in the development of minzokubo, which was based on Chinese tradition. Chinese entrepreneurs learned many lessons from the foreign firms, but denied their rule of China.
The purpose of this article is to introduce how the Taiwanese government formulated semiconductor industry technology between 1974 and 1983. It includes the process, the mechanism of formulation, and the key factors that lead to success. In 1974, most of the private enterprises' productions were assembling operations and the scale of the private enterprises was too small to transfer semiconductor technology from abroad. In this situation, the Taiwanese government built its first semiconductor factory as part of the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) to decide whether to adapt semiconductor industry or not. Under this policy, ITRI took three years to transfer 7.0μm CMOS technology from RCA (Radio Corporation of America) and another three years to transfer the technology to a newly established private enterprise, UMC (United Microelectronics Corp.). This was the start of Taiwan's semiconductor industry. As it expanded, it was able to rank fourth in the world in 1994 in semiconductor production. This success was obviously brought by the technology transfer program between 1974 and 1983. There are however, some questions concerning this technology transfer program. The first question is, if RCA did not have the most advanced technology, why did the Taiwanese government choose it to be the technology supplier? Second, after ITRI transferred the technology from RCA, the major American and Japanese semiconductor companies have improved their technology to 1.5μm CMOS. This means, even though ITRI smoothly transferred technology from RCA, UMC was incapable of competing with those companies. How then did they overcome the huge gap that was formed? Third, engineers played a key role during the technology transfer. The question to consider is what were the factors that made their excellent performance possible during the technology transfer? Previous research on Taiwan's semiconductor industry focused on the government's industry policy. However, it is important to note that this period of nine years from 1974 to 1983 occupied one-forth of Taiwan's semiconductor industry history. And furthermore, if the technology transfer program was not a success, Taiwan would have been incapacitated from developing its industry smoothly. This article focuses on the three points mentioned above. At the same time, it examines the early stage of the formulation of Taiwan semiconductor industry technology and explain it thoroughly in a clear way.