The succession issue has troubled many Taiwanese firms, but E.Sun Financial Holdings handled it smoothly 10 years ago. Ten years later, the company’s chairman and president divulge for the first time the back story behind why it went so well.
Huge investment is going into digital technology. Some fear this won't boost productivity as much as the steam engine, the assembly line, or the computer did in previous waves of technical change. Others are more optimistic. New research from the World Economic Forum and Accenture suggests there’s room for hope.
CommonWealth Magazine has been scouring the Paradise Papers since their release in late 2017 and discovered that one of Taiwan’s wealthiest families has parked a large share of its assets in overseas tax havens. At the same time, Taiwan was recently ranked as one of the world’s most financially secretive countries. Is Taiwan really that deeply tied to the seamy world of money laundering and tax evasion?
In a speech in Hong Kong ahead of the 2018 International Monetary Fund/World Bank Spring Meetings, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde called on policymakers to steer clear of protectionism, guard against rising fiscal and financial risks, and foster long-term growth that benefits everyone. Here's a transcript of her speech.
Taiwan has muddled through an extended period of relatively low growth, stagnant wages and outflows of talent to other countries. The central bank recently revealed why this is happening relative to some of Taiwan’s neighbors.
As São Paulo hosts the World Economic Forum on Latin America 2018, it is time to consider China’s important influence on economies and business in the region since the Forum's last meeting in Brazil, in 2011.
In late January, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd. (also known as Foxconn Technology Group) convened its first-ever extraordinary general shareholders’ meeting since listing on the Taiwan Stock Exchange in 1991, approving the IPO of a Hon Hai subsidiary in China. With its decision, Taiwan’s largest manufacturer sounded the alarm for the currently high-flying Taiwan Stock Exchange (TAIEX).
On February 25th, Taiwan’s long-serving Central Bank Governor Perng Fai-nan, 79, will retire, handing the baton to his protege and trusted deputy Yang Chin-long. Is Yang a Perng Fai-nan clone, as some see him? And should he even try to be?
With aging populations, longer life expectancy, and declining fertility rates, retirement has become a serious issue for various nations. What can the public and private sector do to make our pension system more inclusive and sustainable?
Founded in 1958, Indonesia’s Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional (BTPN) used to serve retired pensioners exclusively. In recent years, the bank has invested heavily in digital transformation, turning mom and pop groceries and small shops into digital branches.
The key to the ‘Thailand 4.0’ plan is digitalization, with e-commerce participation a critical element of development. Taiwan-based PChome has set its sights on the opportunities presented by Thailand’s digital transformation.
In Southeast Asia, the deafening sound of road construction work reflects the fierce competition among China, Japan and South Korea for lucrative infrastructure projects. But in stores and shopping malls, the sound of Alipay transactions indicates China’s even-greater ambition to establish its home-grown mobile financial services abroad.
A Taiwanese leasing company had the highest asset growth of any leasing firm in Vietnam in 2016, topping more established rivals. To achieve the feat, it adopted a strategy that could guide other Taiwanese businesses eager to shine in the region.
After the former British colony of Hong Kong was returned to Chinese rule in 1997, it became China’s accounting house. How has China taken advantage of Hong Kong in the twenty years since the historic handover, and what does the future hold?
The Fubon Group has bucked convention in growing its business, whether moving into southern Taiwan or expanding into non-financial fields. In this interview with Richard Tsai, the Fubon Financial Holdings chairman explains how the company has evolved into a national brand.
A series of reforms by China’s stock exchanges have tempted Taiwanese businesses in China to list IPOs there rather than back in Taiwan, leading many to worry that Taiwan’s stock markets may become marginalized.
Although Taiwan stock exchange index had a strong showing in 2016, turnover and trading volume have hit a record low. In this interview, FSC Vice Chairman Cheng-Mount Cheng discusses what can be done to heal the market’s ills.
Why is Taiwan’s stock exchange failing to retain strong, successful companies? Share prices are falling short of expectations, raising capital is difficult, and fewer promising companies are going public here.
Sluggish private consumption. Stagnant domestic demand. Weak investment. These and other factors portend a challenging run for Taiwan’s economy in 2017. CommonWealth Magazine takes a look at what next year has in store for the country.
Since Morris Chang returned as CEO of TSMC in 2009, the company has fought off spirited challenges from its closest rivals regardless of the technology and seen its stock price soar. How has the semiconductor giant been able to sustain its success?
Taiwan’s new government is pushing closer economic ties with Southeast Asia, but the Taiwan-based Namchow Group doesn’t need any prodding. It has operated there for 25 years with a record of success few Taiwanese companies can match.
For corporations, timing is far more important than R&D and technology. Even as Unilever, Proctor and Gamble, and Johnson and Johnson are looking to capture the emerging consumer goods market, Taisun International uses industry “time lags” to seize the initiative.
Taiwanese solar power cell maker Sino-American Silicon Products Inc. was able to win a lucrative contract for a solar power plant in the Philippines because it made efforts to build trust with the locals.
Acer Group founder Stan Shih proposes that Taiwan should evolve into a "Silnnovation Island", with the Taiwanese market serving as a model platform for the world. Following are the key points of Shih’s speech:
The Brexit vote; new turmoil in the South China Sea; China full of uncertainty. At such a volatile time, the 2016 Summer CommonWealth Economic Forum focused exclusively on searching for the best forward for Asian businesses.
On a July weekend, foreign thieves used malware to steal more than NT$80 million from First Bank's ATM machines. The unprecedented heist means international hackers are now targeting Taiwanese banks. Are the banks ready to fight back?
The financial industry, which caught a profit tailwind 2014, found itself sailing against strong headwinds in 2015. As the Chinese economy slows down and financial markets remain volatile, making money is getting harder.
The CommonWealth Magazine Top 2000 Survey has tracked the evolution of Taiwan’s industrial history over the past 30 years, often identifying paradigm shifts in business trends before they were obvious. Here’s a look back and forward.
The publication of the leaked Panama Papers, which shocked the wealthy and powerful around the globe, became possible thanks to reporters in almost 80 countries, coordinated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). CommonWealth Magazine, which has twice participated in ICIJ investigations, presents a first-hand account of the epochal impact of the Panama Papers.
Though there were no smoking guns related to Taiwan in the Panama Papers, the renewed attention on the global use of tax havens to avoid taxes could finally spur Taiwan's Legislature to action on long-stalled anti-tax avoidance amendments.
Voices are growing louder in Japan that advocate an injection of foreign investment to rejuvenate ailing Japan Inc. The world is watching with bated breath how Taiwan’s Foxconn fares with its proposed takeover of Japan’s Sharp. Will Foxconn be able to open a new chapter in bilateral corporate cooperation?
Facing a new wave of unemployment, new technologies and new climate disruptions, Asia is struggling to rekindle growth. The challenges posed by this new era of cooperation and competition were the focus of the 2016 CommonWealth Economic Forum.
FinTech – financial technology – has become a hot trend in finance, but Taiwanese business schools have been slow to recognize its growing importance. A few prominent institutions are trying to change that, hoping they’re not too late.
Does anyone connect Taiwan’s ancient capital of Tainan, famous for its majestic temples and delicious snacks, with fine fabrics and advanced functional textiles? Yet global fashion brands such as Burberry and Coach as well as lingerie maker Victoria’s Secret all source their fabrics here.
As businesses evolve quickly to cope with a rapidly changing world, Taiwan’s higher education system has become rigid and even obsolete, exacerbating a shortage of software engineers that could threaten the country’s Internet and high-tech sectors.
When Cathay United Bank made an US$80 million loan in Myanmar, it stunned financial circles there. What did such a bold move for this traditionally conservative bank say about its ambitions in Southeast Asia?
Amid concerns that China's attempts to boost slowing economic growth and stem capital outflows could cause a global recession, Taiwan's dependence on the Chinese export market is coming back to haunt it.
Legislation was passed in 2011 to register actual real estate transaction prices in Taiwan but it was watered down in cross-party consultations. As calls for revisions mount, can a better system be devised and passed?
Seoul and Beijing announced in November 2014 that they had effectively reached a free trade deal, worrying many in Taiwan. Former Korean trade official Bark Taeho offers some perspective on the pact and its potential impact down the road.
Taiwan's rich-poor divide is at an all-time high, with the top 1 percent of income earners enjoying most of the gains of economic growth. The situation is unlikely to change unless Taiwan overhauls its outdated tax system.
On the back of financial deregulation and regional integration, the future has never looked rosier for Taiwanese banking, as financial institutions move to conquer new markets and take on the challenges of electronic finance and globalization.
Every politician dreads raising taxes in an election. Yet that's exactly what Taiwan's cabinet is seeking to do. Worsening government finances are making reform imperative, now. But who will they benefit, and who will they hurt?
International luminaries from industry, academia and government gathered in Taipei to share their wisdom on the triple themes of "Taiwan's Way Ahead," Regional Economics and Trade" and "Me and My Dreams."
Are the offshore dealings of Taiwan's billionaires legal wealth management, or do they border on financial crime? Leaked information on companies, trusts and tax haven funds gives us a glimpse of the financial dealings of the super-rich.
In this exclusive interview, Taiwan's Minister of Economic Affairs considers the perils facing the island in the emerging international economy, the remedies the government can offer, and what industry needs to do on its own.
South Korea has a grand ambition: to build the commercial hub of Northeast Asia. But with investment lagging behind expectations and fierce competition from both China and Japan, can they make good on their bold plan?
The Taiwan version of "free economic zones" involves dispersed resources, unclear positioning and "virtual" zones that amount to little more than deregulation and tax breaks. Is this the panacea for all the island's woes?
At Port Klang, Malaysia's ambition rings clear: to challenge Singapore's claim as the premier entrepot of Southeast Asia. Yet in Iskandar, Malayia is allying with its old foe, for the greater good of regional domination.
Around the globe, large multinationals and rich individuals legally exploit asymmetrical regulations and avoid paying trillions in taxes. But the hunt is on, as international bodies devise means to make them pay their fair share.
Taiwan's government is desperate for revenues, but the country's corporations pay lower tax rates than salaried workers. Many use the same overseas tax dodges that Apple made famous, and lawmakers are helping them get away with it.
Fubon Financial has led Taiwan's financial holding companies in net profit four years running and has gained the deepest foothold in China. In an exclusive interview Daniel Tsai reveals his personal goals and aspirations for the company.
Striving to carve out bigger slices of the same consumer pie, retailers expanded into one another's territories, brick-and-mortar stores went virtual, and hoteliers put on the glitz for top tourist dollars.
After moving production to China in 1988, Kenda quickly became the third largest bicycle tire maker in the world. Yet last year they moved their car tire production back to Taiwan. Given the higher costs, why did they insist on returning home?
NT$17 trillion in new wealth was created in Taiwan's equity and property markets from 2006 to 2010, but very little of it was taxed, a not-so-subtle indication of how far Taiwan's tax system has gone awry.
In the newest development in cross-strait financial services, Chinese buyers can now pay online for products and services purchased in Taiwan. Small Taiwanese online vendors are seeing their sales go through the roof.
China's Taobao online retail network has higher sales than China's five biggest brick-and-mortar retailers combined. It's a big pie, but access to this new "silk road" means following China's e-commerce standards.
In 2011 Cathay Financial Holdings regained its throne as Taiwan's top financial holdings group, and Bank of Taiwan fell from the Top 10 for the first time, as state-run banks lost their competitive edge.
Community protests halted work at Catcher Technology's plant in Suzhou. But by making a favorable public impression, Master Kong has become China's number-one noodle brand. For Taiwanese enterprises operating in China, good community relations are not optional.
Taiwan's top-level talent is being seduced away by high pay offers, forcing the country's most admired companies to use emotional appeals to hold on to their prized executives. Is the strategy working?
In her year heading the Council for Economic Planning and Development, Christina Liu has been aggressively promoting investment, but she has attracted her share of criticism. What's the real economic strategy she's got in mind?
Two years ago Taiwan Business Bank stood out mostly for its lackluster performance. But since veteran banker Peter Lo took the helm, the industry laggard has moved to the front of the class. The secret? A sincere, down-to-earth management style.
Sumitomo has picked Taiwan as its first overseas production base. And Japan’s largest glass maker AGC is setting up a new furnace for flat panel glass substrates in Taiwan instead of China. What are the advantages informing their strategies?
In Taiwan only two websites are big enough to make money from advertising. But two 30-something guys have devised an alternative route, bringing together many small developers and harnessing a power akin to a swarm of soldier ants.
The government in Taiwan is forging the island into a higher education center in Asia, aiming specifically at attracting college students from Southeast Asia and Chinese language learners from around the world, President Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday.
In the wake of the financial meltdown, Europe and America are still in the doldrums, but Taiwan's private-sector investment surged 32 percent in 2010, marking a 45-year high, the second highest in history in terms of absolute value. Will 2011 be just as good?
Promoting its own standards and rewriting the game rules across a range of industries, China hopes to go head-to-head with the leading standards of the West. Once China can "call the shots," how can Taiwan reap the rewards?
Once denizens of a primary battleground for top-quality branded goods, the Japanese are now tightening their belts. Yoshinoya's new low-end Beef Bowl speaks volumes about the Japanese market's sea change.
Taiwan's "godfather of forex," now deeply engaged in China's burgeoning commercial banking sector, ponders the grand harvest that potentially awaits Taiwanese banks in China, and the strategies necessary to succeed there.
President Chain Store Corp. recently opened its second shopping mall in Taiwan. Why is it so determined to enter the department store fray when its 7-Eleven convenience store business is so successful?
Enjoying success with its TV and Internet shopping ventures, the financial group Fubon has gone brick-and-mortar, with its Momo Department Store. Is Fubon creating a consumer paradise, or just aiming too high?
Over the last decade, South Korea has pulled ahead of its rival Taiwan. Why has South Korea been able to graduate from the "Four Little Dragons of Asia," achieving a per-capita GDP 20 percent higher than that of Taiwan?
In 2009, Taiwanese insurers reaped windfall profits from booming investment markets fueled by low interest rates, while banks squeezed meager profit out of "savings." In 2010, challenges continue to loom large.
Morris Chang, chairman and CEO of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), yesterday urged businesses to rely on entrepreneurship -- instead of tax breaks -- to achieve continued growth and success.
China's dominance in the world stage and a tug-of-war between economic optimists and pessimists will be two major economic trends this year, said Daniel Franklin, Executive Editor of The Economist, yesterday.
With Jiang Jianqing at the helm, the International and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) became the world’s biggest bank in terms of market value and assets. How did Jiang, who started out as an ordinary bank teller, make it to the top of this financial giant?
When no one else was gung ho about China, Silas Siu-shun Yang daringly expanded his accounting firm into China. And when Arthur Andersen collapsed, Yang again moved quickly to grab his stricken competitor’s staff in China. Where does this seasoned China hand see new opportunities in Asia in 2010?
Casting an eye across the globe, there is nowhere its shadow isn't cast. Its services may just lie behind that ATM card you use or that express delivery package you received. How does India's biggest information services concern intend to expand its presence in the Taiwan market?
Taiwan's work ethic has underpinned strong GDP growth, but life hasn't gotten much better for ordinary Taiwanese people in the past decade. What is it that this major economic indicator is not telling us?
Twenty years after the end of the Cold War, the communists' banks are about to set foot in Taiwan. Far larger than their Taiwanese counterparts and reflecting China's national will, these new entrants in Taiwan's financial sector are potentially tenacious foes.
Taiwan's financial industry posted its highest revenues since 2000, yet profits were lower than companies can afford. Battered by the financial tsunami, the financial industry has hit rock bottom and is fighting hard for its survival.
As the recession continues, Taiwan's banking system is actually overloaded with money, and looking like a pressure cooker ready to blow. Some experts already warn of accelerating inflation and soaring interest rates.
The renminbi has infiltrated Southeast Asia, is increasingly accepted internationally, and may one day directly challenge the U.S. dollar. What opportunities and challenges will this bring for Taiwan and the world?
In Taiwan's murky insurance industry, a number of companies have depleted their capital stock but continue to operate without regulatory management. And insurance holders like you and me are left in their stranglehold.
Nearly 10 million policyholders have been left stranded in Taiwan as foreign insurance companies sell what they can and hit the high road. How can Taiwan patch the fissures in its damaged insurance edifice?
The global economic tsunami has washed away capitalism's prosperous heyday, leaving individuals, companies and governments, including Taiwan's, wondering what values and directions to embrace for the future.
Pummeled by the global economic storm, many "rootless" Taiwanese companies registered overseas are coming back to the island. And some, having sought shelter and hoarded supplies, were ready for the onslaught before its arrival.
While the Taiwanese open their eyes to the hidden power of money laundering, the veil is being lifted from offshore tax havens around the world, as these hush-hush sanctuaries of secrecy face heightened scrutiny.
After record low interest rates, a luxury property boom and the opening of links with China have floated the real estate market to historic highs, is Taiwan now plagued with a property bubble? And how can an ordinary mortal purchase a home?
With the world economy in the doldrums, 80 percent of the CEOs of Taiwan's biggest companies are pessimistic about 2008 profits, and 46 percent see rough times ahead for the stock market. What can they do to reverse the tide?
The world economy has barely absorbed the fallout from the U.S. subprime crisis, but the next threat is already looming: inflation. In the 1970s two oil crises led to stagflation, bankruptcy and unemployment. Will history repeat itself?
The global merger and acquisition fever is accelerating in Taiwan, with M&A values up six-fold from 2004. What’s behind the flurry of activity in recent years, and who are the players behind the scenes?
The collapse of the US sub-prime mortgage market set off crises in France and Britain, and sent stock markets south all over the world. The vast flow of capital, complex and interconnected, gathers force like a storm, but where is it heading?
Pierre Chen leads a multifaceted life, attaining more than single-track business success. In a rare, exclusive interview he talks about Yageo's future, including its unprecedented partnership with a foreign PEF.
For Taiwan's financial industry, 2006 was a year for post-disaster reconstruction. In this highly competitive market, Taiwanese businesses must now seek to break free from the existing herd mentality and create new value.
Mergers are delicate affairs - their success depends largely on winning the hearts of the acquired company's staff. And Standard Chartered has gone to great lengths to bring Hsinchu International Bank into its fold.
A "hird stage" of financial reform is quietly revolutionizing Taiwan’s financial sector. Local Taiwanese conglomerates-widely reviled during "econd stage" financial reforms-are being edged out by a wave of powerful, deep-pocketed foreign giants.
Able to fill an array of orders with efficiency, precision and a low overhead, Taiwan’s "express enterprises" are the new darlings of the stock market and, increasingly, the secret inside the world’s latest lightweight gadgets.
When Rebar Group CEO Wang You-theng embezzled billions from his own conglomerate, sparking a bank run, the response of government supervisors was tardy and passive. What lies at the root of the problem?
The removal of Sean Chen as chairperson of Taiwan Cooperative Bank may well be a glimpse at a much bigger trend. With no room for professionalism, just what type of future is there for Taiwan’s financial reforms?