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


Rents have definitely gone up all over metro Taipei and significantly so supposedly because less families are buying houses . Not doubled or anything but I’d say 20 to 30 per cent max.

Property boom only topped about two to three years ago.


I know the current administration is pushing the country more into biomedical. Medical studies between Taiwan and China are finally now recognized on both sides, and Taiwan has a lot of good doctors and medical researchers (also to prevent a brain drain of doctors etc) Lots of big pharma like Pfizer who already has a office in Tamsui are looking to do more stuff in Taiwan. Can’t rely on the tech and manufacturing industry only moving forward. I think most countries are experiencing stagnant wages and slow growth for the average person.


“for 10 broad degree categories ranging from engineering to communications, 2016 graduates are projected to have an average salary of $50,556”<< NT$126,000 per month bachelor’s at graduation .


That is true, but the baseline is lower here so it seems worse here.


The average wage in America is about 50k USD but there’s huge income disparity in America, really massive.
So you get places like San Fran or Las Vegas etc.
Seattle is a world class tech center it’s done well but it does have three or four of the worlds too companies HQ it’s not exactly your average city.


Yes the problem is Taiwans wages hardly budged in the 2000s whereas globally that was a very prosperous time in many countries , prior to the financial crisis .


Money is better in America because innovation/wealth creation is better there. That’s important to remember when expats in Taiwan seek to understand why wages for professionals are so chronically low here. It’s the wealth creation, s——d. It’s not about government policies, or bosses not appreciating skills and experience. It’s about the lack of innovation and the only way to fix it is to find a way to turn Taiwan into an innovation island attractive to the sort of talent capable of innovating.


I have a feeling that some bubble is going to bust in Taiwan due to low wages and increasing High Cost of Living but I’m just not sure what.

A huge proportion of people keep eating cheaper and living cheaper every month while business expenses for those providing services and goods keep going up every year and at some point it has to break.


Hence the government trying to move into biomedical and attracting more researchers to come here.


I worked in the R&D division of a Taiwan tech company for two years, the only foreigner. We actually had a meeting once where the stated topic was “avoiding the dangers of innovation.” Once it became clear to me that the concept of R&D in that company was being the first to copy a proven product from the U.S. in order to avoid the “dangers of innovation” I headed for the exit. Needless to say, that company is long gone, its carcass swallowed up by Hon Hai.


Haha another hon hai story. The company my dad founded also competed with hon hai, actually he worked for hon hai before leaving and starting another company with people and was rather successful and was top 100 at a time. And from my time there, I can attest to the same thing, RnD was like 20 people doing things like putting LED lights into street lights…their reason in not putting much into RnD was they can’t put as much into it like GE. Also funny how GE is in trouble now as well.


There are pockets of strong companies and industries, just not enough to power the broader economy.

Taiwan’s population is also starting to shrink soon and also aging so demand is reducing similar to Japan.

To be fair Taiwan has a LOT of disadvantages compared to a massive country with resources and military power like the US. They are not comparable situations .

But does Taiwan need to attract more foreign investment and professionals to live here , definitely.


Working for Hon Hai is a dog’s life. I once interviewed with Tony Gou for a job there. When he got called away briefly during the interview a Hon Hai supplier waiting in the wings warned me that Hon Hai would chew me up and spit me out in a few years. With a 2-3% profit margin Hon Hai has never had and never will have much room for “appreciating skill and experience” in its workers.


I hope some major screw-up happens in China and makes Hon Hai go bankrupt soon. It’s such a nauseating sweatshop.


I don’t think size has anything to do with it:

Singapore was ranked at the 1st position in Asia and 7th worldwide1 in the 2017 edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII) released today by INSEAD, Cornell University, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

The overall GII score is the simple average of Input and Output Sub-Index scores. The Innovation Input Sub- Index is intended to capture five elements of that enable innovative activities: (1) Institutions, (2) Human capital and research, (3) Infrastructure, (4) Market sophistication, and (5) Business sophistication. The Innovation Output Sub-Index provides information about outputs that are the results of innovative activities within the economy. There are two output pillars: (6) Knowledge and technology and (7) Creative.

Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, the USA and the UK are the world’s most-innovative countries according to GII 2017.


You can’t comoare Singapore with Taiwan .
Singapore has the massive advantage of not being isolated by China.
Same with the Netherlands.

Taiwan cannot sign FTAs with anywhere of note because of China. It also cannot join ASEAN… Also no embassies . It has had a bad effect on Taiwan.

But are there things that the government should do , big things, yes!
I think now is an emergency for Taiwan and the country really needs a big shake up, it is sleepwalking into China’s arms basically.


We can however just keep trading with North Korea! They got a trade office here. I’m sure we got more tech for their nuclear program.


The sleepwalking was halted, at least temporarily, when the Ma government was shown the door. The Tsai government has certainly not pleased everyone, but it is not following that path, instead at least trying to diversify/find other markets.



This has been a disappointment so far because the changes are simply TOO SMALL to move the dial.

What changes have been enacted that can really introduce new industries here or attract major investments?

I can’t see it. Financial regulations seem the same.
The tax system hasn’t changed enough either.
Many things have seen incremental improvement but it’s simply not enough.


For those interested: a detailed article from Commonwealth on Taiwan’s 20 year decline. It also calls Taiwan’s workers one of globalization’s losers.