31% of Taiwanese earn less than NT$30,000; 10% earn over NT$61,000 per month.


Spot on. The exchange manipulation only favors them.


Ahh, I was confused because my Italian isn’t so good when I was there. I think It’s actually some places like Rome have unions for workers in certain sectors like the person I talked to who worked at a restaurant. She said they have a certain min wage or something that’s about 1100 euros a month.


Yea, can take a look forex reserves ROC has accumulated over years. Naturally taiwan want to keep twd dollars down. Price matters the most, in foundry business.

At least (for now?) taiwan has technology edge in semiconductors. When they started in the late 80s, they were like way behind. They closed a gap and eventually tsmc became one of best semiconductor company. As mentioned investments are heavy capital intensive (finance + energy), so will be really hard for china to catch up. Plus you need a lot experience, but chinese learning fast and there is unlimited governmental money. Will see. They establishing funds with like over 200 billions of usd, just for chips industry. Not sure either is worth it economically, but party def wants close a gap chinese companies has with tsmc.


As long taiwan will matters economically, or in technological way, taiwan can have a freedom and own way of living. As soon it does not matter, they can nuke hell of it. World will turn away, as long there is steady supply of new cars, phones, pc…

Is a policy taiwanese politics has, to keep twd down, labour is cheap, so yea business people “are not motivated” to build up margin, brends and pay better salaries. It takes decades for mentality to switch. However am sure taiwan will finds its own way in future

China is already/slowly moving up on value chain, and is question how long can taiwan ignore/survive without chinese investment. They saying chinese managers already paying better than taiwanese.


What’s even more annoying is the attitude that “I’m entitled to a paycheck and a Lamborghini too just like the boss because I show up for work everyday – and, no, I don’t want to start my own company because it’s too much risk and hard work.”

Living wage? Wages in Taiwan are crap but if you’ve ever run a business here you soon learn that the space Taiwan’s economy occupies between China and its customers in the U.S. and Europe is thin and getting thinner as SE Asia moves up the food chain. So thin that a living wage relative to Taiwan’s costs would soon put most companies out of business and its workers on the streets.

TSMC has a healthy profit margin but it’s an unusual company for Taiwan as its business model isn’t entirely based on low cost. Its wages for engineers are much lower than in the U.S. or Europe though. Where it makes up some of the difference is in yearly profit sharing. No profit though and engineers at TSMC make what an office assistant makes in the west. That’s why semiconductors companies in the U.S. are shutting down production there and moving operations to Taiwan. The biggest problem at TSMC and U.S. companies like Micron operating in Taiwan though is IP theft due to low wages for engineers in Taiwan relative to China.


Nonsense. Taiwanese companies operate on a low margin model, because they choose to operate on a low margin model and not invest in marketing, r&d or do any research.

These companies could pay more, but just don’t.


Not sure either tsmc pays so low. They have bonuses, and other benefits. In europe engineers salaries are taxed 40 to 50% and i doubt anyone starts with over 2,5k (88k twd) after tax in germany, italy,france.
Salaries are higher in norway, switz. But there i paid for basic hairdresser 1500 twd. So much value for your money.
Europe can be great for families but single people are taxed to death.


I worked in the R&D office of a Taiwanese company for two years as its boss who had made a fortune as a low-cost OEM tried to move up the high margin foodchain. It was an utter train wreck from the top on down because its engineers educated in the Taiwan educational system had no clue how to innovate. Many Taiwanese companies have tried the same thing over the years and failed so it’s not like none of them have been trying.

As far as “companies could pay more, but just don’t” only someone who has no experience managing a business in Taiwan would believe that.


I’ve worked in Taiwanese tech companies and with ODMs for around five years. Many don’t make an effort or don’t know where to begin. I’m not talking about even becoming brands, but rather basic steps like having a proper website or some kind of marketing strategy. Most of those companies got business through referrals or trade shows, but the world has changed and they haven’t adapted. There has been plenty of warning. These companies are failing because of mismanagement, but the first course of action is to cost down, which normally equals making workers work longer and finding ways to cut wages.


We have an impasse here: yes they can/no they can’t. A solution would be to open the books of several businesses that are considered typical for their sizes and examine them thoroughly to see exactly where the money goes. :rainbow: :moneybag: (Sorry, no “pot of gold” emoji found.)


I’m not sure how long they’ve had the rule that they can’t reveal the complainant’s identity without consent. It was recently strengthened, probably because some people were being careless and/or reckless about it.

Still, one wonders how much integrity the system has. For example, the Ministry of Labor said in a press release (early 2015 iirc) that the amendment drastically raising the fine for violating Art. 17 of the Labor Standards Act (regarding severance pay) was passed by the LY because there had been so many cases of employers violating it that the situation was having negative effects on society as a whole.

Okay, great. Now check the online records for Taipei going back to late 2011, and you find exactly three cases of employers actually being fined for that violation (all post-2015).

But you’ll find more cases, including successful ones, if you search the civil court records. :confused:

The administrative penalties may in some cases be much higher than the civil damages, so it would be in the labor department’s interest to take a more active role… assuming they have enough integrity.

If people could receive rewards for reporting certain labor violations, just like they currently can for reporting illegal foreign workers, I reckon there would be more cases.


You’ve obviously never dealt with the Taiwan “tax house”. It knows every dollar/yen/euro etc. that goes in and out of Taiwan as well as what companies are buying and selling via the company invoice system and everything has to be reconciled quarterly. Taiwanese companies used to be able to hide income offshore but that’s become much more difficult in recent years, particularly when trying to bring that money back into Taiwan to buy Lamborghinis. The one major difference between the Taiwan’s tax collector and tax collectors in the west is it doesn’t have a “golden goose/pot of gold” attitude towards Taiwan companies because it’s pro-business.


I think this thread (and the forum in general) would greatly benefit if more business owners or managers provided their opinion. Most probably not going to happen, so it remains an echo chamber.


As an engineer in Germany, you are very likely (although not a 100% given, depending on industry) to start with 2,500 EUR net.


I wasn’t referring to tax evasion, though they say that also goes on despite all the information sharing, like in other countries.

You know how some people are capable of living frugally (whether or not they have any familial or other support), while others insist they can’t afford to live on their relatively high incomes? That’s what I’m talking about. When people say raising the minimum wage would kill a business, I can’t be convinced either way if I don’t know exactly how the business spends its money. I can be suspicious though, when the discussion follows a familiar pattern like this would force us to raise prices or collapse.

Non-executive salaries, the prices charged to customers, and the business tax rate are not the only variables.


When you talk about opening and thoroughly examining the books of businesses that implies government intervention because no business is going to do that willingly just to satisfy suspicions that the owners are “making too much.”

The best way to know how business actually works in Taiwan is manage a business here – successfully.

Where all this is going, of course, is a solution in which the government gets involved to mandate “fairness.” It would set “fair” wages for everyone. While it’s at it it should also set “fair” prices that customers have to pay businesses. Then businesses should be required to pay “fair” prices to suppliers and suppliers should be required to charge businesses “fair” prices for their supplies.

Once market forces are entirely removed from the process in the interests of fairness the whole thing should operate like a well-oiled piece of machinery. A veritable workers’ paradise.


Every business is different, sectors are different, scale is different and opportunities are different . I don’t agree with your statement .


They all operate within a fairly narrow set of factors known as the Taiwanese economy.


Its not narrow it’s extremely broad.


Taiwans tax bracket for certain high earners including those engineers at TSMC with bonuses are taxed higher than the US Federal. I know this since I pay these taxes.


“Innovation” is just a bullet point on ppt deck. Most I have worked with aren’t truly willing to accept the risks, mistakes and failures that trying to innovate involves.