Hsinchu or Hsin-chu (both: shĭnˈjōˈ) [key], city (1995 pop. 340,255), NW Taiwan. The city and surrounding area are noted for the production of tea, rice, oranges, and petroleum. Hsinchu has become an important computer and electronics engineering and manufacturing center. Other major industries include petroleum refining and the manufacture of cement, fertilizers, textiles, and glass. Iron ore, coal, gold, and silver are mined. Immigrants from the China mainland formed a colony at Hsinchu in the early 1700s. Since the 19th cent. the city has been a thriving commercial center.