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Three Gigantic Geo-engineering Projects

Scientists’ New Plan to Slow Polar Melting: Build a Giant Wall

A giant wall, artificial islands and cooling water are three ways that scientists might slow polar melting.

World Economic Forum

3 Ways AI Could Threaten Our World

A new report highlights three ways that AI could be used for harm, physically, digitally and politically.

The Surprising One Thing that Robots Can't Do as Well as Humans

Apparently, strawberry-picking robots struggle to determine whether a strawberry is ripe or not.

Platinum Optics Technology Inc.

Taiwan’s Unheralded Tech ‘Unicorn’ 

Platinum Optics Technology is not publicly listed and avoids attention, but it has penetrated Apple’s supply chain by mastering a niche technology. The company’s founder recently gave us a rare glimpse into how this optics upstart was built.

Tokyo Motorcycle Show

Kymco Announces New Battery System for E-scooters

At the just-concluded Tokyo Motorcycle Show, Taiwan’s largest conventional scooter maker Kwang Yang Motor Co. Ltd (Kymco) premiered its new battery technology eco-system, called Ionex. With what it calls its “game-changing” new system, Kymco hopes to sell e-scooters made in Taiwan around the globe.

Five Keys to Penetrating the Facebook Echo Chamber

In a polarized world where Internet flame wars break out in an instant and reports of “fake news” permeate the media, people retreat to places where they feel safe and respected, leading to echo chambers where only similar views - some quite extreme - are prevalent. How can we burst these bubbles and bring people closer together?

Seeing Through the Hype of Sharing Economy

Why Disrupting Business Models is Innovative But Insufficient

We hear the word “innovation” all the time. It has become such a buzzword that we forget what it means. For some people, innovation means building the next Facebook. For others, it’s a new way to cook an omelette. For the purposes of this article, let’s break innovation down into two general categories:

Defending the Throne

Advantech Launches Counter Attack from Europe

Ennoconn Corporation, a member of the Hon Hai/ Foxconn Technology Group, is steadily closing in on Taiwanese industrial computer manufacturer Advantech Co. Ltd., threatening to replace it as the global No. 1. How does Advantech plan to win this battle?

More than a Social Media

WeChat Now Has Over 1 Billion Monthly Users

With WeChat's services and users expanding in an unprecedented scale, it is expected to become much more than a social media app.

Terry Gou’s U.S. Gambit

The Eagle Has Taken Off

Foxconn Technology Group Chairman Terry Gou is pressing forward with the first 10.5-generation flat panel display plant to be built on American soil. Considering the challenges, does the gambit make strategic sense?

17 Media Wants to Dominate Your Screen

The Taiwanese live streaming platform "17 Media,” co-founded by Taiwanese rapper Jeffrey Huang of the hip-hop group Machi, successfully entered Japan last year and is now looking to South Korea and the United States. What is the secret to standing out in the hotly contested live streaming market?

Redefining Robot Vacuum Cleaners

Sweeping in a New MIT Trend

Most consumer electronics manufacturing has moved out of Taiwan. But Hobot Technology Inc. founder George Chao may be reversing the trend with innovative, award-winning robot cleaning devices that are being made at home.

Top Innovative Countries

What Makes S. Korea and Sweden the Most Innovative Countries in the World?

These are the most innovative countries in the world, South Korea, Sweden and Singapore top the list.

Mind-Reading AI

This AI Can See Your Thoughts and Draw a Picture of It

'Functional magnetic resonance imaging' allows computers to visualize what people are thinking about. Are mind reading and telepathy finally coming true?

Carbon Engineering

Bill Gates Wants to Strip CO2 from the Air and Turn It Into Clean Fuel

Microsoft founder Bill Gates is developing the 'Air to Fuel' technology, which promises to clean up the atmosphere and provide clean fuel. Is it practical? What are its potential pros and cons?

Morris Chang on his Retirement

Ready for a Clean Break with TSMC

TSMC’s 86-year-old Chairman Morris Chang is vowing to make a clean break with TSMC after he retires in June. CommonWealth Magazine caught up with him to see how he feels about the company he’s built and how he thinks it will fare without him.

5 Things You Need to Know About China's Booming E-commerce Market

China’s e-commerce and mobile economy are booming, yet it is certainly not easy to enter or compete in the market. Here are the five key current trends to understand and learn from China’s e-commerce explosion.

Microsoft’s New AI R&D Center

Taiwan Lands the Prize

Microsoft has decided to locate its new AI R&D Center in Taiwan despite interest from India, China and other markets. What was it that gave Taiwan the edge and what will the new center bring? Will it suck away high-tech talent or keep it at home?

The Evolving Management

Here’s How We Can Still Reinvent Leadership

In the last hundred years, technologies and related paradigms have kept shifting. However, decision-making structures in big organizations have changed little since the first industrial revolution. How can technology be used to optimize management?

David Ku

The Gap between AI-Haves and AI-Have-Nots Will Be Larger

He is in charge of the Microsoft search engine Bing, personal assistant Cotana and cloud platform Azure. He comes from Taiwan and is now CVP of Microsoft AI Core and CTO of the AI and Research Division. He is David Ku, the person in charge of integrating AI function into Microsoft’s essential products.

Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm

Brace Yourself, the 5G Future is Coming

From 2G to 4G, the mobile communication network has kept renovating itself, being a major driver of global growth and technological development. However, the advancement to 5G will not just provide faster data or lower latency. Its applications can radically change our ways of living.

Thriving in 4IR

These Countries are Best Prepared for the Future of Production

The rising tide of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is altering the entire landscape of production. Old types of business models, techniques and workers will be fundamentally challenged. How are different countries in the world responding to this drastic transformation?

The Dividing Social Media

It’s Time for Facebook to Fix Itself

In recent years, Facebook has been haunted by serious problems like online abuse and fake news. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg himself addressed that something has to be done due to the situation. Can Facebook really fix itself?

The Disruption of Industrial 4.0

Does ASEAN Still Have a Future in Manufacturing?

The coming disruption of Industry 4.0, which aims to bring manufacturing back to the developed countries with technological integration, will be one of the key issues for the ASEAN region in the next five decades. How can ASEAN manage the potential impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

The Rise of AI & Automation

How Machines Will Not Replace Human Workers

It's reasonable to be alert that AI and automation can eliminate jobs. However, it's also irrational not to look into the benefits and higher productivity brought along with human-machine collaboration. At certain point we will have to ask the question: Do machines necessarily have to compete with humans?

Can Taiwan Transition to Electric Scooters?

Nearly as many motorcycles and scooters are registered in Taiwan as there are people. Despite their tremendous convenience and low cost, scooters clog both the atmosphere and city sidewalks, diminishing quality of life for everyone. Can the advantages of electric scooters and emerging shared motorcycle services convince enough consumers to complete Taiwan’s transition to electric vehicles by 2030?

World Economic Forum

3 Things Every Company Can Do to Benefit from Digital Disruption

Digital disruption brought by critical innovation reshapes the whole landscape of various industries, eliminating companies that fail to adapt. How do companies survive and succeed in these events?

Vivotek’s AI Survival Strategy

Taking on China’s Goliaths

Taiwan’s surveillance industry companies have been battered by Chinese competition, but they are hoping to turn the tables by developing artificial intelligence systems that learn as they go and create value. Can they successfully fend off China’s threat?

Bickering Bots

Should We Worry About Fights Between AI?

A study on Mammoth editing wars, where Wikipedia editing bots fought each other, reveals some fundamental questions regarding the development of AI.

Know Your ‘Economy’

The Myth of Sharing Economy, Explained

Barking up the wrong tree? Sharing economy is one of the hottest topics in recent years and seems to be trending everywhere. But do you really know what the term really means?

World Economic Forum

India and China Together can Lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Here’s How

India and China together created approximately 13.5 million jobs last year. The benefit generated by the collaboration of the two countries will surely be significant, but is it possible to achieve?

Mining Gold in Cyberspace

The Explosion of the Data Economy

In the 20th century, having oil meant having power and influence. In the 21st century, data has supplanted oil as the resource of choice. But having it isn’t enough. What is it that is separating the winners from the also-rans in this data-driven age?

Huang Yi

My Dance Partner Is Not A Human

Once a boy who admired the robot-cat Doraemon, Huang Yi is now a digital choreographer who duets with his own-designed robot, and the first Taiwanese to stand on the stage of TED’s annual conference in 2017. With reason and passion, Huang spins intricate human feelings into emotionless robots, pushing the realm of art to new extremes.

A Different Take on Taiwan’s Low Wages

The ‘Hidden Costs’ of ‘Hidden Champions’

Labor groups have long blamed Taiwan’s low wages and long working hours on exploitative employers. But in this Op-ed piece, Universal Cement Corporation Vice President Jack Hou offers a more expansive view of what the real problems are.

World Economic Forum

A Major Risk of Automation

Automation can serve the purpose of reducing the workload for overwork employees, making our lives more efficient. However, there's an unexpected risk hovering over efficiency: boredom.

Patrick Y. Yang

Fighting Cancer with Precision Medicine

Instead of resting on his laurels and enjoying retirement life, biotech industry veteran Patrick Y. Yang has returned to the frontline to help Taiwan catch up with the world leaders in precision medicine.

Exclusive Interview with Geoffrey Hinton

Canada’s Maple Valley Attracts Top AI Talent

Canada has become a “Maple Valley” of AI research on par with America’s Silicon Valley, enticing Geoff Hinton, the esteemed father of deep learning, to leave his native UK to settle in Toronto, and attracting huge investments from the top names in tech. How did this come about?

World Economic Forum

We Have the Tools to Fight Climate Change. It’s Time to Start Using Them

The threat of climate change is dire but seems difficult to fight. However, the tools to fight it have long been in our hands and we really need to start using them.

International Trade Slows Down

A Turning Point for Globalization

Globalization has reformed the world's production landscape, however, recent studies show that international trade is slowing down. What does this mean to the future of globalization?

Future of Peer to Peer Economy

Cracking the Code of Blockchain

Blockchain is certainly trending, but there are simple but important questions to ask. What is blockchain? How does it work exactly? What is its impact on our economy and society? Here's what you need to know.

China's Annual Shopping Craze

Startling Statistics from Singles' Day

These statistics show the amount spent this year for Alibaba's annual Singles' Day.

Chien Lee-feng vs. Tom Wang

Should People Fear Robots?

Many workers are worried that robots and AI will supplant them. CommonWealth Magazine Group publication Cheers brought together two experts to discuss whether those concerns are warranted and what can be done to stay ahead of the game.

Living Off the Electric Grid

Future’s Power Plant is in Your Home

Most homes already have half of a miniaturized power plant. Here's why and how this could bring us a more sustainable future.

The World is Flat for Innovation

China's Mobile Economy, Explained

Despite the stagnation of the global market, China's mobile economy is growing rapidly and this booming is changing the country's industrial landscape. Why?

Home-care Robots and Traffic-beating Apps

The Brave New World of AI

AI has the power to benefit all of humanity - but only if we use it well.

A Turning Point for SMIC?

Liang Mong-song Jumps Ship Again

Former TSMC R&D executive Liang Mong-song, dubbed the biggest traitor in Taiwan’s semiconductor industry for leaking trade secrets to South Korean rival Samsung, has jumped ship again, this time taking the post of co-chief executive with China’s SMIC.

Taiwan Turnaround

Taiwan's Path to the Global Stage

Looking at how Taiwan’s internet tech scene is catching up, TechNode talks to VCs, accelerators, and entrepreneurs about how they are helping Taiwan startups to go global.

Taiwan Turnaround

An Asian Tiger Catching Up In The Internet Sector

How does Taiwan’s internet tech scene play catch-up after being left in the dust compared to others in Asia? Visit the island to see how the Asian Tiger plans to stimulate its startup ecosystem.

Your Smartphone Could Be Hiding a Dark Secret

Unsafe working conditions, forced labour and toxic fumes: the hidden costs built into your smartphone.

Morris Chang’s ‘Last Contribution’

Resolving TSMC’s Succession Dilemma

The face of TSMC for 30 years, Chairman Morris Chang, announced on Oct. 2 that he will be retiring in June 2018, and he laid out a succession plan involving “dual leadership.” Can this new model really replace the semiconductor legend?

Augmented and Virtual Reality

The Promise and Peril of Immersive Technologies

Augmented and virtual reality are expected to grow into a $95 billion market by 2025. These game changing tech will definitely reinvent how we create and consume. Nevertheless, new risks start to emerge along with the booming trend of immersive technologies.

Decoding the iPhone X

Apple’s ‘Face ID’ Made in Taiwan

A main highlight of Apple’s much-hyped iPhone X is its facial recognition function (Face ID). After six months of digging, CommonWealth Magazine has confirmed that Taiwan’s Himax and TSMC are the main suppliers backing this critical technology.

HTC Chairperson Cher Wang

Google Deal Good for Both Sides

In an exclusive interview, HTC Chairperson and CEO Cher Wang reveals how she convinced Google Inc. to pay US$1.1 billion for a large part of HTC’s smartphone developer team.

Retail Revolution

New Tech Unlocks Potential of Unmanned Stores

Late last year, U.S. online retail giant Amazon launched Amazon Go, pioneering a new kind of store without a checkout counter. China and Japan are also battling to deliver a checkout-free shopping experience in unmanned stores. What are their secret weapons in this battle for new retail service models?

Taiwan Launches Its First Home-Grown Satellite

Satellites, once the domain of a handful of national space agencies, have become smaller and more affordable, leading to more accessible satellite-based ventures. The recent launch of Formosat-5, the first space mission entirely manufactured on the island, was a major milestone for Taiwan’s space program.

OPPO in Thailand

Upstart Brand Challenges Samsung’s Dominance

Chinese smartphone brand OPPO is now the second-largest brand in the ASEAN region, having surpassed Apple and trailing only Samsung.


Customized Medical Care Making Thailand Healthier

This cloud-based healthcare system, which is set to expand to hospitals throughout Thailand, made it to the ASEAN market after a detour in Africa provided valuable lessons on localization and customization.

Taiwan’s Tech Sector: Adapt or Die

Quanta Forging a New Future

Software has taken over the global electronics sector, leaving Taiwan’s hardware makers in a bind. But Quanta Computer has embraced a new path that builds on its past, as Quanta Chairman Barry Lam explains.

Closing in on Industry 4.0

Unveiling TSMC’s Secret Weapon

Recognized as one of Taiwan’s leading practitioners of Industry 4.0, TSMC has been able to maintain its pricing power in an age of plummeting component prices. What has been its secret weapon in achieving that?

Closing in on Industry 4.0

Elevating the Internet of Things

Three Cloud-based platforms keep 300,000 elevators across the globe in line. The incorporation of augmented reality places virtual over actual reality, streamlining workflow. With the Silicon Valley innovation engine powering the way, American Industry 4.0 is quietly accelerating into the passing lane.

Closing in on Industry 4.0

Digital Brains Aid in Farming and Surgery

Robotic arms in operating rooms are old news. But now digital brains are taking on greater roles independent from human operators, serving as assistants during surgical procedures, and also helping farmers tend their vegetable fields.

The Age of ‘Octopus Talents’ Is Here

Self Study, the Trend to Watch

The stories of three multitalented people engaged in lifetime learning and leveling up their skills runs contrary to the conventional university education and on-the-job vocational training.

The Age of ‘Octopus Talents’ Is Here

As the late management guru Peter Drucker once said, the tools we rely on for survival today could get in the way of growth tomorrow. Constantly enhancing one’s skills and taking on all kinds of roles, “hybrid talents” are the new stars of the workplace.

2017 Computex Taipei AI Forum

Can Taiwan Find an AI Niche?

Autonomous vehicles. Robots learning on their own. The artificial intelligence wave has arrived, as was evident when Nvidia founder Jensen Huang spoke at Computex Taipei. Does Taiwan have what it takes to capitalize on this “next big thing?”

From Reservoir to Rooftop

Everyone Can Generate Green Energy

Starting this year, electricity use will be like browsing the market for food - just pick and choose whatever you like. The liberalization of the electricity industry enables everyone from individuals to large corporations to freely invest in, buy or sell renewable energy.

2017 Top 2000 Survey

AI: A Wave Taiwan Must Ride

Artificial intelligence is poised to explode, much like the internet in the 1990s. But with no clear market and no advanced research, how can Taiwan find its niche in this global tsunami and what will it need to do to strike success?

Minister of Science and Technology Chen Liang-gee

Reallocating Resources – Giving Young Scholars a Voice

Taiwan has never had a more industry-oriented science and technology minister. Chen Liang-gee is the most aggressive government official when it comes to investing in artificial intelligence (AI). What does he have in mind? The following are excerpts from our exclusive interview with Chen, in his own words:

New Media “Luogic”

Raking in NT$1.3B with Online Talkshow

Even with open curricula and Internet-based direct broadcasts available in China, a paid subscription knowledge platform has attracted 1.5 million users and garnered NT$1.3 billion in annual revenue. How has it done it?

Monetizing Knowledge

The Next Internet Craze

Live streaming has not provided the payout many anticipated, but a new model has emerged in China that could fill in the gap – paid subscription knowledge sharing platforms. How have they been able to rise to prominence?

China’s ‘Lifestyle Services’ Boom

Exploiting the Desire for a Better Life

China’s startup scene is no longer just about the Internet but also about a trend toward premium products. As China’s growing middle class cares less about a product's price-performance ratio, a new group of service providers has emerged to tap the premium product market.

A Bubble, Swords and Roiled Waters

China Getting an Overhaul

As it tries to reinvent itself, China is facing several daunting threats that could provoke social turmoil. CommonWealth Magazine went to China to identify those perils and see what Beijing is doing to cope with them.

High-tech Smart Underwear

A novel piece of underwear combining advanced textiles and innovative wearable technology aims to solve the problem of urine loss, an issue that remains taboo although many women suffer from it.

Smart Machines and Aerospace

Machinery Industry Takes Aim at Trillion-Dollar Goal

For the past nine years, Taiwan’s machinery industry has tried to break the trillion- dollar mark in terms of annual output, but so far this challenge has proven insurmountable. This year might be different. Why?

Nobuyuki Idei

How Technology is Changing Society

Nobuyuki Idei, Founder and CEO of Quantum Leaps and former Chairman of Sony Corporation, gives an opening speech in 2017 CommonWealth Economic Forum (CWEF).

Moving into the Iot Age

Asian Silicon Valley Set to Take Off

The Asian Silicon Valley vision of President Tsai Ing-wen is starting to take shape with the help of two Taiwan-born Silicon Valley veterans who specialize in technology development and fundraising, but many challenges remain.

Pekka Soini, Director General of Tekes

Government Funding Encourages Companies to Take Risks

A self-described risk taker whose philosophy rests on encouraging imagination through play might seem more like PIXAR or Tesla than a government agency. But Tekes, Finland’s state funding agency, is different.

China Medical University Hospital

Doctors Use 3D Printed Models to Plan Surgeries

With the advance of medical technology, physicians need to communicate not only with patients but also with engineers. The definition of “professional" now includes being able to apply new technologies and keep up with technological progress.

Taipei National University of the Arts

Combining Art with Technology

The Department of New Media Art at TNUA hopes to train creative individuals who are equally adept at using the analytical-logical and artistic-creative parts of their brains.

Largan Precision Co. Ltd.

Full Order Books Despite Sluggish Apple Sales

Highly profitable smartphone camera lens maker Largan Precision Co. Ltd. is expected to see shipments soar if demand for dual camera smartphones doubles as forecast next year.

Exclusive Interview with Morris Chang

One Key to Success – No Unions

TSMC Chairman Morris Chang, one of Taiwan’s most respected business people, opens up in this interview with CommonWealth Magazine about the future of the high-tech and semiconductor sectors and the state of labor-management relations in Taiwan.


Spinning Waste into New Tires Raises Global Interest

Pile after pile of waste tires stacked in small mountains comprise a “Taiwanese landscape” that Enrestec is determined to eliminate. The company’s turning junk tires into new tires and toner cartridges has attracted global attention.

Embracing the Circular Economy

Don’t Call Me ‘Garbage’

Countries around the world are embracing the idea of a “circular economy” in which resources remain in use for as long as possible and nothing goes to waste. Taiwan was late to jump on the bandwagon, but a few companies are showing the way.

UA CEO Kevin Plank:

Chasing the Cheap is Being Lazy

On a recent visit to Taiwan, Under Armour (UA) CEO Kevin Plank warned Taiwan’s contract manufacturers: Cost cutting no longer results in any meaningful competitive advantage, as rapid innovation disrupts existing business models and revolutionizes manufacturing.

Nike CEO Mark Parker

The Power of Manufacturing Innovation

Nike has long been the powerhouse in the athletic apparel world. But now under pressure from Under Armour and other upstarts, it is relying on innovation to stay ahead of the pack, says Nike CEO Mark Parker in an interview with CommonWealth Magazine.

Investing NT$1 in EPS in the Future

Merida Putting Profits into Sponsorships

Merida resolved in 2011 to invest NT$1 in earnings per share to sponsor a Europe-based ProTour team, but it quickly discovered that materials, manufacturing, design, and branding were just as important as money in achieving success at the highest level.

Shun Chan Industry

Providing Traction for Usain Bolt

It’s a company most people have never heard of, but its manufacturing prowess rivals that of Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn, and it supplies soles to nine of the world’s 10 biggest sports shoe brands. Here’s Shun Chan Industra’s story.

Anonymous Hidden Champions

'Made in Taiwan' Scores Olympic Gold

From badminton rackets to bicycles and soccer balls, "Made in Taiwan" sporting goods have reached the pinnacles of their respective fields and generated NT$500 billion in annual output. How do they plan to sustain their run of success?

Industry 4.0: Everest Textile

An Old Factory Grows a Brain

The first Taiwanese company to adopt Industry 4.0 is a textile manufacturer that’s been around for decades. It is hoping a NT$450 million investment in a new brain for its production complex will help it cope with the challenges of the information age.

Surround Sound from a Mobile Phone

Tricking the Brain into Hearing in Stereo

Four young people from Taiwan have created in the U.S. a breakthrough sound technology for producing stereo sound using a mobile phone, all without external speakers. Here's how they've done it.

Industry 4.0: Optima

Ahead of the Curve on Industry 4.0

Developed a decade ago but not ready for prime time until recently, Optima's "mass customization" line has the company riding high atop the Industry 4.0 wave.

Industry 4.0: BenQ

‘Taiwan’s Siemens’ Taking Shape

Multitasking production lines, machines that talk to each other, smart transporters that can call their own elevators – these futuristic scenes have become reality in Taiwan as the BenQ Group strives to emulate German giant Siemens.

Industry 4.0: Henning Banthien

Selling a New Revolution

The government-financed “Plattform Industrie 4.0” is the major promoter of the revolutionary Industry 4.0 concept in Germany. Platform chief Henning Barthien tells CommonWealth Magazine of the concept’s benefits and challenges.

Industry 4.0-A 58-Second Competition

The New Direction of Manufacturing

Fifty-eight seconds. That’s all it takes BMW to produce a customized car, Siemens to make a customized controller or Optima to make a customized bottle of perfume. Industry 4.0 is redefining how things are made and sold in the 21st century.

Industry 4.0: Ulrich Sendler

Revolutionary Change for SMEs

In an interview with CommonWealth Magazine, industrial visionary Ulrich Sendler expounds on the paradigm shift manufacturing practices are currently undergoing and how it will change our future.

NDC Chief Chen Tain-jy

Time for Government to Kindle Investment

A new government took power in Taiwan on May 20, and its top economic planner, Chen Tain-jy, is already feeling pressure to quickly energize an economy in the doldrums. His solution? Have the government take the lead in rekindling investment.

London's Creative Crowd – AI Talent

The Secret Weapon behind Microsoft and Hollywood

Though little known, most British tech companies have developed key technologies and are now attracting the attention of international tech giants. Taiwan, a smaller market like Britain, could learn a lesson from their low-profile approach.

The Race to Core Technologies

Can Taiwan Become a ‘Digital Island’?

Several emerging industries have risen up to ride the digital wave, but does Taiwan have what it takes to capitalize? If the country hopes to spawn a “Digital Taiwan,” it will have to integrate its strong “hardware” sector with new software.

Chien Lee-feng:

Taiwan’s Digital Ambitions Face Major Divides

Google Taiwan managing director Chien Lee-feng believes Taiwan has many advantages it can use in pursuing a digital future, but he says it needs to recognize them and put a priority on talent development if a “Digital Taiwan” is to emerge.

Taking the World by Storm

The ‘Internet Plus’ Craze

Anything, it seems, can be done or sold online, and Chinese vendors are betting big on “Internet Plus” and its scale, speed, and impact. But will it lead to a new wave of growth in China or end up as a money game that creates a major economic bubble?

Zhang Ruimin, CEO of Haier Group:

Start Businesses, or Leave

Fresh off its acquisition of GE’s venerable home appliance unit, Haier is now the world’s biggest home appliance brand. CEO Zhang Ruimin, at the helm since 1984, is taking bold steps as he sets out to “change the world.”

Taiwan's Flat Panel Leader

Innolux on the Comeback Trail

Five years ago, Innolux, Chimei and TPO Displays merged to become Taiwan's flat panel leader. The company then fell NT$530 billion into debt after a slump in the global display market, but teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, it somehow recovered.

Artificial Intelligence

The NT$16 Trillion Holy Grail

The artificial intelligence field is exploding, with companies, societies and countries all desperate to get in on the game. More than 1,000 startups have bet on the field and its NT$16 trillion market potential.

Robert Wong, Chairman of CMC Magnetics

AI Supports Corporate Decision-Making

For a company, profits and investments are like the black and white stones in the traditional game of Go. Which move should be made in the current situation? There is no harm in listening to what artificial intelligence has to say.

‘MIT’ the New Weapon of World No. 1s

Boutique Manufacturing Taking Hold

Taiwan’s manufacturing sector has long focused on low-cost contract manufacturing for major brands. But that’s changing as Taiwan now stands as a driver of innovation for well-known global companies such as Burberry, Victoria’s Secret, and Ferrari.

Hon Hai’s Bold Gambit

In Hot Pursuit of Japanese Treasure

Hon Hai Precision Industry, the world’s biggest contract electronics manufacturer, is close to acquiring Sharp of Japan. What is behind Hon Hai’s willingness to risk it all financially to take over the venerated but money-losing Japanese electronics giant?

CyberLink Spin-Off Perfect Corp.

Churning out World-Class Apps

CyberLink, the world’s leading multimedia software developer with notable products such as PowerDVD and PowerDirector, is staking a claim in the mobile Internet market.

The Rise of FinTech

Can Taiwan Make Up for Lost Time?

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.

Everest Textile

Taiwan’s First Textile Mill to Embrace Industry 4.0

Everest Textile President Roger Yeh has invested tens of millions of NT dollars to build Taiwan’s first intelligent textile production line. Yeh believes that, if Taiwan’s textile cluster is well-estasblished, there’s no reason to fear the red supply chain.

Post-Paris Climate Conference

Taiwan’s Major Emissions Challenges

Taiwan has made a “non-nuclear homeland” a priority. But with renewable energy technology and investment lacking and limits to energy-saving initiatives, Taiwan will find it hard to cut emissions, eliminate nuclear power and keep electricity prices low.

Low-Carbon Lifestyle:

More Than Saving Electricity

The Germans pay three times as much for electricity than the Taiwanese, yet Germany has been making great efforts to phase out cheaper nuclear power, investing instead in reducing carbon emissions and developing renewable energy sources. What can Taiwan learn from this?

Hiroshi Ishiguro:

Social Robots to be the Next Smartphones

The bionic robot designed by Japanese scientist Hiroshi Ishiguro can speak, act in a play and host a TV program. Aside from robots resembling human beings, Ishiguro has also released a simple companion robot that he predicts will become as indispensable to us in the future as smartphones

Taiwan’s New Strength: Industrial PCs

Protech and the Wisdom to Stay Home

Engel Wu has resisted the urge to pursue quick profits in China, instead staying in Taiwan to oversee Protech Systems’ transformation from the bleak PC industry to the opportunity-rich industrial computer (IPC) sector and its 50% margins.

Taiwan’s New Strength: Industrial PCs

Ennoconn – Beating the Goliaths of the Industry

Through mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances and dedicated factories, the electronic manufacturing service provider Ennoconn Corp., a subsidiary of Hong Hai, has reinvented itself as a maker of customized industrial computers.

Taiwan’s New Strength: Industrial PCs

For Adlink, R&D Paying Big Dividends

Many of Taiwan’s PC makers are stuck in low-margin purgatory. Not Adlink Technology. Through its heavy investment in R&D, the industrial PC maker sells sophisticated products that generate solid returns.

Taiwan's New Strength: Industrial PCs

Despite recent economic downturns, one sector is managing to thrive. Industrial PCs, long unnoticed, are now seen as the future backbone of the emerging Internet of Things.

Taiwan’s New Strength: Industrial PCs

Advantech the World No. 1

Foreseeing the volatility of consumer electronics 10 years ago, Advantech Co. set its sights on industrial computers. The strategy now has it positioned at the forefront of Taiwan's – and China's–foray into "Industry 4.0" and the Internet of Things.

The Arrival of Solar Power

Solar energy trellises dotting farmland have formed a "crop and energy farming ecosphere" that only stands to get bigger with the imminent institution of electricity liberalization.

Taiwan's First 'Digital Life Survey'

Who Rules the Cloud?

In its first ever "Digital Life Survey," CommonWealth Magazine found Taiwan's Internet users to be among the most avid fans of social media across the globe, and have distinct online behavior patterns that will dictate how companies position themselves in the future.

Taiwanese Orchids to Bloom in Desert Countries

Last year, Taiwan's orchid growers exported potted orchids and seedlings worth NT$4.1 billion to 36 countries around the globe. Now they are eyeing the rich markets of the Middle East.

Agriculture Ministers Match Wits

Should the Government Take the Lead with Marketing?

The current minister of the Council of Agriculture and a former CoA minister have widely divergent views on Taiwan's agricultural development strategy.

Sizing Up the Atemoya Craze

Taiwan's Heavenly Gift in Peril

Taiwan has emerged as the world's biggest exporter of the custard apple-like fruit, the atemoya. But mindless competition among Taiwanese trading companies and dependence on China is threatening the riches derived from this heavenly gift.


Back from the Brink and Going Public

Foxsemicon Integrated Technology is going public after Terry Gou almost gave up on it. Here's how one of Gou's veteran generals took a perennial money loser and turned it into a semiconductor industry stalwart.

PTT Founder Ethan Tu

A 'Heavenly Dragon' Resurfaces

PTT was just the first stop on a magical software journey that has taken him to Microsoft, big data and even artificial intelligence. Currently working in the U.S., Ethan Tu is looking forward to the day when he harnesses Taiwan's "software power."

Cars of the Future

Sharing, a Global Trend

As carsharing services thrive in urban areas of the United States and Europe, major carmakers are scrambling to cash in on the new mobility services trend.

Cars of the Future

The Taiwan IT Sector's Next Act

Automotive electronics represent the IT sector's next major growth engine and an opportunity for Taiwan to transform itself. It's no wonder, then, that Taiwan's tech players are eager to find ways into the global automotive supply chain.

Cars of the future

Who will Rule the Roost?

The automotive industry is currently embroiled in a fierce battle with the IT, telecommunications and Internet sectors for supremacy in the age of connected vehicles and new mobility solutions. As new paradigms begin to emerge, collaboration across sectors is the key to win.

Cars of the Future

Turning Drivers into App Users

The convergence of communication technology, big data, and Cloud services with automobiles will totally reshape our "mobile" lives. Who will rule in the new era? And what role will Taiwan play?

'Made in China 2025'

How will Taiwanese Enterprises Cope?

What does it take to upgrade production and people's attitudes to meet the challenges of running a smart factory?

'Made in China 2025'

Decoding Beijing's Intentions

The entire world is engaged in a battle for innovation and transformation supremacy. Qu Daokui, one of China's foremost robotics experts, tells CommonWealth how China will go from the world's manufacturer to a manufacturing superpower.

Terry Gou Invests in Bio-med Devices

Hon Hai founder and chairman Terry Gou has donated huge sums for the establishment of a cancer treatment center as the company moves into the biomedical engineering industry.

Internet of Things Fever

Taiwan Betting on 'Big-Small' Model

Unable to tackle the Internet of Things alone, big Taiwanese electronics companies are building strategic alliances with startups to get in on the ground floor. Few are pursuing the opportunity more aggressively than Acer.

NT$10 Trillion Empire Dream

Terry Gou Eyeing Smart Cars

Taiwan's media has been infatuated with Terry Gou's courtship of Sharp. But his real priority is the smart electric vehicle market, a business he sees as essential to his dream of building a NT$10 trillion empire.

Toung Loong Textile

Stretchable Textiles in Vibrant Colors

Traditional yarn manufacturer Toung Loong Textile Mfg. Co. Ltd. stayed in Taiwan as industry peers flocked to China. Instead of competing on price, the company repositioned itself as a manufacturer of high-end premium yarns.

High-Tech Textiles

Tex-Ray Makes Microcomputers You Can Wear

A specialized thread developed in Taiwan that is used as material for Intel, adidas, Lululemon and Under Armor smart clothing is the secret weapon high tech firms here are relying on to introduce new related products.

Microsoft Changes Course

As it faces its fifth decade, Microsoft is making changes to compete with newer companies. Julia Liuson, corporate vice president at Microsoft, is at the forefront of the company's recent moves towards open-source software.

Taiwan's Industrial Waste Crisis

Mining Precious Metals from Sludge

Brightly colored sludge, saturated with various metals and other pollutants, is a shocking sight. But World Resources Company (WRC) sees in it a golden opportunity for mining riches.

Taiwan's Industrial Waste Crisis

High-Tech Waste Out of Control

Waste generated by Taiwan's high-tech sector is being dumped indiscriminately around Taiwan, threatening the environment, people's health and the future of the high-tech sector itself. Has the situation reached a breaking point?

Broadsound Corporation

Striking Fear in Big Ultrasound Vendors

As the only U.S. FDA-approved ultrasound replacement transducer maker, Taiwan's Broadsound Corporation has come to monopolize this niche market, and is now starting to worry global brands. Here's how the company has done it.

Doing it the Silicon Valley Way

Maisense Changing an Industry

With the support of senior executives from high-tech heavyweights TSMC and MediaTek, Maisense Inc. has developed an innovative blood pressure device that's changing the face of its industry. What's been its secret?

'Sponge' Communities Forging Roads that Breathe

If a city resembled a sponge, absorbing water from storms and saving it for droughts, would we have to worry about having enough water? One extraordinary road in Xizhi not only stores and purifies water, it even regulates its temperature.

The Liang Mong-song Story

Hunting Down a Turncoat

TSMC admitted at an investor conference on Jan. 15 that it has been overtaken in 16nm technology by Samsung. A big reason is Liang Mong-song, who sold out to the Korean company. Here's the story of what went down.

Safeguarding Trade Secrets

Taiwan's NT$2 Trillion Threat

Key employees of Taiwan's high-tech companies are defecting to Chinese and Korean competitors, threatening the country's competitive edge. Taiwan could learn from the United States in stemming the loss of vital trade secrets.


Call Us an Industry 4.0 Company

Once upon a time, Advantech was a big industrial computer firm; today, it aims to become a major player in the Industry 4.0 trend.

Tongtai Chairman J.H. Yen

Taiwan Has Yet to Master Industry 3.0

Tongtai Machine & Tool Co. Chairman J.H. Yen worries that Taiwan is lagging behind in the intelligent manufacturing race. But his company is showing how Taiwan's key machine tool industry can keep up with the global trend.

The Future of Manufacturing

Germany's Industry 4.0 Strategy

The Internet of Things, Big Data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence are changing how we live. Germany has now adopted a development strategy embracing those trends that it hopes will lead a revolution in how things are made.

Academia Sinica President Chi-huey Wong

Eyeing Cancer Research Breakthroughs

Seen by many as Taiwan's next Nobel Prize candidate, Chi-huey Wong has opened new avenues in drug research. What breakthroughs does he expect to see in the next few years?

Future Logistics

Carbon-Neutral Delivery by Drones

Deutsche Post DHL, one of the world's three largest courier companies, tells you how the logistics industry will look like tomorrow.

Top 10 Hottest Products of 2014

Looking back at 2014, other than a host of shiny new products, retro designs made a big comeback. Will this year's popular commodities blow over, or remain big sellers in the coming year?

The National Taichung Theater

Tackling the World's Most Challenging Building

Developer Wu Chun-shan has forged "a different road" in Taiwan's construction sector. That explains why he was willing to give the challenging National Taichung Theater a go when others weren't

Public Good X Creativity

Impact Hub San Francisco

After the 2008 financial tsunami exposed the destructive nature of vulture capitalism, a new breed of social entrepreneurs sprang up in Silicon Valley who champion collaboration and networking to make the world a better place.

New Creativity vs. Rigid Thinking

Taiwan’s ‘Innovation’ Challenge

Passionate, engaged, and raised on digital technology, Taiwan’s young generation is the most creative ever and becoming a social force. But an inflexible education system and organizationally rigid enterprises are having trouble keeping up.

NTU Creativity & Entrepreneurship Program

Cultivating the Next Morris Chang

University campuses are going all-out to cultivate students’ entreprenurial spirit and forge ecosystems to support entrepreneurship, so that students come for the creativity and leave to start their own businesses.

Asustek Computer

Getting Stronger by Getting Leaner

While rival Acer was busy acquiring companies abroad to boost market share, Asustek Computer Inc. was slimming down. It pared down its 11 business groups to just three, helping it become one of the world's top five computer brands.

Merry Electronics

Changing Up to Keep Chinese Threat at Bay

Merry Electronics fell to the depths after the global financial meltdown, battered by a changing smartphone industry and Chinese competition. But it survived by repositioning itself and playing to its strengths.

TSMC, MediaTek in the Bull's Eye

China's Semiconductor Grab

China is staking out an industrial policy of unprecedented ambition, creating a 120 billion renminbi fund to build an unrivaled semiconductor industry. How can Taiwan's semiconductor leaders stave off this huge threat?

Largan Precision

Secrecy: the New Competitiveness

Largan Precision has successfully fended off challenges from many rivals in the smartphone camera lens sector, including a Chinese upstart. The secret: secrecy itself and a sustained edge in technology.

The Kaohsiung Gas Explosions

The Price of Loose Bolts

LCY Chemical was one of the good guys in the chemical sector, recognized for its safety and environmental record. Why is it now the main suspect in the deadly explosions that rocked Kaohsiung?


Taiwanese Robots Invade China

A small enterprise named Idea is rapidly gaining favor in China's expanding automation sector, and pulling ahead of such industry giants as ABB and Delta.


Global Hotbed of R&D

China, Singapore, Korea and the US are all scrambling to set up R&D centers in Israel. They're also eager to uncover the country's latest technologies and poach its brightest talents. What puts Israel at the forefront of science and technology?

Greater China Top 1000

Chinese E-commerce Giants Surge

This year's CommonWealth Magazine Greater China Top 1000 Survey found that the competitiveness of Taiwan's companies continues to erode while Chinese e-commerce giants have remained on the ascendance.

Taiwan's Top 50 Performers

Niche Markets, Little Giants

Taiwan's top-performing enterprises of 2013 came from a wide spectrum of industries. What sets these hidden champions apart from the pack is unique key technologies and niche dominance.

Taiwan's Flat Panel Industry

500 Days to Survive

Chinese and South Korean display makers will soon launch eight production lines for large-size TV screens in China. How can Taiwan's leading makers of LCD TV panels survive this offensive? What are their counterstrategies?

Mitac Synnex Sets New Course

Mr. Merger's Cloud Atlas

Known in the industry as "Mr. Merger," Mitac Synnex Group chairman Matthew Miau struck again in February when he acquired IBM's customer service business, opening a new horizon for his company, and Taiwan.

Report from the Mobile World Congress

The Taiwanese Mobile Industry's Next Moves

Who says the mobile telecom industry only sells phones? Now they're selling everything from watches to cars. In a game that's constantly changing, what does the future hold for Taiwan's players?

Leaving Hsinchu Science Park Behind

Taiwan's Changing High-tech Center of Gravity

The global "hardware age" has faded, and with it the luster of Taiwan's Hsinchu Science Park. But new clusters are bubbling up nearby in four sectors, giving the country's tech center new life.

The Art of the Turnaround

Sony's Lessons for Acer, HTC

After years of heavy losses, Sony Inc. has returned to profitability and declared itself ready to take on Apple and Samsung. What can Taiwan's struggling brands, Acer and HTC, learn from Sony's revival?

Hon Hai

The Yogyakarta Move

After sealing a five-year deal to make BlackBerry smartphones, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. has dropped another bombshell: It's setting up shop in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. What's the appeal of this laid-back second-tier city? For one thing, workers there don't go on strike.

Reeling in Google with Technology

Himax Rises from the Ashes

The most important component for Google Glass is being made by Taiwan's Himax Technologies, a company that some gave up for dead two years ago. How did it come up with the technology that Google now covets?

Google Inc.

Taiwan's Love/Fear Dilemma

Taiwan's NT$4 trillion IT hardware sector and 2 million engineers are being profoundly influenced by Google, coming to rely on it for their futures. CommonWealth Magazine takes a journey to see how healthy that dependence is.

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt

The Race to Define the Future

Love it or hate it, Google inspires a wide range of emotions because of its commanding position in the new digital age. Eric Schmidt recently took on some of the questions and doubts when he was in Hong Kong.

Barclays Capital's Kirk Yang:

Mergers the Only Way for Taiwanese Tech Sector

Do the flagging fortunes of Acer spell peril for Taiwan's entire tech sector? The chief technology analyst at Barclays insists the dangers are real, and the solutions may need to be radical.

Is Branding Still for Taiwan?

Acer's Warning

Of the world's top 100 brands, only 10 percent come from small countries. Do Acer's woes prove that Taiwan or other countries without big domestic markets have trouble supporting their branding dreams?

Prof. Ji-Ren Lee:

New Blood Needed to Effect Change

In the age of mobile devices, the sun no longer shines on the once mighty PC makers of Taiwan. In this exclusive interview, National Taiwan University professor of management Ji-Ren Lee ponders how Taiwan's high-tech sector can achieve another revolution.

Acer's Fateful 1,000 Days

Hijacked by Success

After three straight years of losses, Acer recently decided to reshuffle its management. Founder Stan Shih has been called to the rescue, but can he really save the floundering company?

MediaTek Chairman Tsai Ming-kai

Breaking the Taiwan High-tech Mold

MediaTek Inc. ranked third in CommonWealth Magazine's survey of "Most Admired Companies" this year. And for good reason, as "MTK Inside" has become a third force in the smartphone industry behind only Samsung and Apple.

2013 Most Admired Company Survey

Innovators under Pressure

In 2013 new champions emerged in more industries than ever before. With ambition, courage, tenacity and innovation, Taiwan's new standard bearers deftly navigated rocky economic waters to sail ahead of the pack.

Dancing with Chinese Wolves

Compal Electronics’ Risky Gambit

Taiwan-based Compal Electronics has been bashed as "quenching its thirst with poison" for teaming up with two major Chinese brands. But Compal president Ray Chen felt he had no other choice and sees his company as coming out on top.

Electric Vehicles

Why Did Taiwan Lose Tesla?

Taiwan was for a time the manufacturing base for Tesla Motors, supporting the electric car maker's rise. What made Tesla turn its attentions elsewhere, and what does it mean for Taiwan's electric vehicle industry?

Electric Vehicles

Can Taiwan Go it Alone?

Does Taiwan stand a chance of building its own homegrown electric car? The niche market for electric buses may provide an opportunity for building brands and honing technological skills.

Acer, HTC

Taiwan's Big Brand Blues

Acer has suffered huge losses, and HTC has seen NT$900 billion in market value evaporate over the past two years. Why is the branding dream of Taiwan's high-tech sector crumbling?

3D Printing

Conjuring Your Imagination

Once upon a time, casting a mold for a new product could take weeks. Now, your model is ready in 10 minutes. A competitive revolution for small companies, 3D printing could nullify the edge of the big corporations.

Greater China Top 1000

Crossing the Strait of No Return

China boasts 10 times more resources than Taiwan, and 100 times the limelight. But once a Taiwanese exec has made the move to China, they often find no way back. How can Taiwan retain its native talent?

2013 Top 2000 Survey

Taiwan's Top 50 Performers

Several relatively obscure companies serving Taiwan's domestic consumers defied the economic malaise of 2012 to join high-tech enterprises among the year's top performers.

Top Manufacturing Enterprises 2013

Riding Technology, Flexibility to Success

In 2012 Taiwan's manufacturing sector saw revenues and profits fall, but some companies are fighting back and reversing the tide with technology and innovation.


Everybody’s Partner

Fabless semiconductor giant Qualcomm has a hand in a third of Taiwan’s high-tech exports. In an exclusive interview, CEO Paul Jacobs discusses the company’s business model, its partnership strategy and its relationship with Taiwan.

Intai Technology Corp.

Surgical Precision in the Making

This erstwhile mechanics shop slowly evolved into a leading maker of precision devices, and an important supplier for Johnson & Johnson. Now it has launched a brand of its own.

Morris Chang's Grand Alliance

TSMC Takes on Samsung

Its stock price soaring and profits at an all-time high, TSMC has mobilized a "Grand Alliance" to battle vertically integrated Samsung and Intel. In an exclusive interview, Chairman Morris Chang explains how.

Hon Hai

Quartermaster of the Apple Empire

Hon Hai’s alliance with Apple rakes in NT$8 trillion in operating revenue a year. With Apple's sales in decline, Hon Hai boss Terry Gou is betting heavy, in an effort to sustain a relationship that accounts for 70 percent of its profits.


The Bulwark of the Facebook Empire

Quanta servers, made in Taiwan, are the unseen strength facilitating Facebook’s billion-user empire. Now Quanta is edging past Dell to stake a claim on one-seventh of the global server market.

AU Optronics

Eat Your Veggies, Get an iPad

When this leading display maker discovered that half its employees were overweight, it revolutionized the company dining hall, labeling each dish with an intelligent flat-panel display.

Third-party Online Payment Services

Now Everyone Can Be a Boss

With money transfer volume expected to reach 10 trillion renminbi per year, online payment platforms are big business, and Taiwanese banks are eager to get their piece of this rapidly growing pie.

Taisys Technologies

Turning a Shack into a Financial Center

A revolutionary membrane no thicker than tin foil is enabling people around the world, from the plains of Africa to Chinese townships, to use their mobile phones for a stunning range of transactions.

HTC Fights Back

Rise of the Butterfly?

Squeezed by giants Apple and Samsung, HTC is fighting back with its new Butterfly, hoping to establish itself as the "third force" in the global smartphone market.

TPV Technology's Jason Hsuan

The Taiwanese Xi Jinping Knows Best

CEO Jason Hsuan has built TPV Technology into the world's fourth-biggest LCD TV maker, keeping profitability up in a highly competitive mature market. How has he done it?

Taiwan Mobile

Gaining the Edge with Service

After a seven-year hiatus, Taiwan Mobile has reclaimed the title of benchmark enterprise in the telecom services sector. Amid a sour economy and an industry paradigm shift, which strengths helped it topple Chunghwa Telecom?

Everlight Electronics

Battling to Light Up the LED Market

Everlight Electronics has relied on branding to build a leading position in the domestic LED industry but is now feeling the squeeze as competition heats up.

Food Scarcity Solutions

High-tech Urban Ag: Plant Factories

While food prices soar, Taiwan's veteran technology players are quietly opening farming operations underground, raising vegetable crops and cultivating a new green revolution.

Greater China Top 1000

Tapping China's Consumer Goldmine

State-run enterprises lead the pack in China, and electronics and IT rule the roost in Taiwan. Meanwhile, Taiwanese businesses are successfully grabbing a piece of the growing Chinese consumer market.

Global Brand Challenges

HTC Struggles through a Bottleneck

Hurt by patent defeats and errant strategies, HTC has suffered through two gloomy quarters. CEO Peter Chou reveals four changes his company is making to right the ship.

Taiwan-Japan Synergy

Hon Hai: Sharp's New Pass to the World

Long the standard-bearer of the global LCD panel industry, Sharp has fallen on hard times. But it has been given new access to the global supply chain by teaming up with the Taiwan-based Hon Hai Group.