Hewlett-Packard, the world\u2019s second-largest PC maker, spent US$18 billion in Taiwan procuring IT components and goods last year, the head of the company\u2019s Taiwan office said Friday.HP has long been the top purchaser of Taiwanese IT products, outsourcing production of PCs, laptops and handhelds to the island long ago. It\u2019s one way technology companies keep up with the falling prices users have become accustomed to from the IT industry. Technology is supposed to keep getting smaller, faster and cooler, while prices come down as products age.Rosemary Ho, managing director of HP Taiwan and a vice president at the company, made the comments at a ceremony to break ground on Powerchip Semiconductor\u2019s newest chip factories in Taiwan.Put into perspective, HP accounted for 39 percent of all IT exports by Taiwan last year, according to the figures. The island exported US$45.72 billion worth of electronics products in 2005, the government says.HP\u2019s main rival in the global PC industry, Dell, purchased about $5 billion worth of IT gear from Taiwan last year, according to reports.HP has also been shifting product orders around. It used to contract the manufacture of a tablet PC to Samsung Electronics, but shifted orders for the product to a Taiwanese company. It also moved production of its handheld, the iPaq, to Inventec from the world\u2019s largest contract notebook computer manufacturer, Quanta Computer.HP held a 15.1 percent share of the global market for PCs in terms of shipments, according to researcher Gartner. The company runs second to Dell, which took 18.6 percent of the market last year. The two U.S. companies run far ahead of their global rivals in the PC industry. Lenovo Group came in third last year, Gartner says, with a 6.9 percent share of the global PC market.-Dan Nystedt, IDG News ServiceCheck out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.