The biggest provider of chips used in low-price mobile phones in China is on course for stronger-than-expected first-quarter sales due to a rebound in demand, the Financial Times reported. Mediatek, Taiwan’s largest chip design house, projects sales to grow 8-13% quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of 2009. It previously forecast a first-quarter decline of 8-16%. In a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, Mediatek put the revision down to ongoing robust demand in emerging markets. Most of the company’s overseas sales are in China. Analysts tied the news to Beijing’s efforts to boost domestic demand. Much of this effort is focused on rural areas where subsidies are now offered on the purchase of electronic products, including handsets. The US$3 billion subsidy program was rolled out nationwide earlier this year and is due to last four years. It effectively cuts prices paid by consumers by 13%.