Asian Silicon Valley?


The people in this news story below are the ones that should be attracted with the NT$11.3 billion (US$357.9 million) being spent on this fictional Asian Silicon Valley. Taiwan needs to increase jobs in Taiwan with equivalent salaries and improve living quality of life.


Brain drain a severe issue for Taiwan’s tech industry: NDC

By Wendy Lee , Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2016/12/29 16:48

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Taiwan is currently facing a serious problem of brain drain and especially in the tech industry, the National Development Council (NDC) said Thursday.

Around 500,000 to one million tech workers have gone to China to work, the NDC said, alongside other industries such as business management and technical personnel.

A poll conducted by 1111 Job Bank also showed that 25 percent of Taiwanese citizens working abroad have no intention of returning home, while 80 percent of Taiwanese have either had the experience of working overseas or have the intention to do so.

While Taiwan government has long been aware of the problem, policies and procedures in place to reverse the situation have been widely considered to be insufficient.

During her campaign, President Tsai Ing-wen promised to introduce a series of policies for attracting and retaining skilled foreign talent. The existing immigration system in Taiwan has proven difficult for foreign workers to stay in the nation, whose families are forced to leave Taiwan after reaching the age of 20.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Ho Hsin-chun called into question the government’s effort to reduce brain drain today, saying that while there are reforms being developed to attract foreign talents, not much effort seems to have been put into keeping talent at home and prevent brain drain.

As tech talent tends to move more fluidly between countries, it is as important to attract immigrant skilled workers as to slow down the outflow of natives, the Minister of Science and Technology said in response.


The employers want cheap foreign labor. The locals want to make a living. The government wants money, but in the long run it needs votes. This is a scenario that’s playing out all over the world lately. This is why we have populist upheavals.

Power tends to corrupt, but democracy is a corrective. The trouble is, the corrective comes late - only after the corruption has gotten so bad that voters just can’t ignore the stink any more. Electoral upheaval is a safety valve, when what we really want is a rheostat.

The DPP seems to believe their flavor of dirigisme is the solution to the failed dirigisme of the previous regime. That never works.


I don’t think the situatjon overseas in places like the US is really relevant to what’s happening in Taiwan.
Taiwan has a different economic structure and scale.

It’s quite an interesting economy because there are many companies doing very well out of the current structure, but wage growth and the middle income trap have been the big issue here, along with failure to develop newer industries particularly on the service side.

Basically Taiwan lacks the dynamism it once had and which you see now in Shenzhen or Silicon Valley or even in regional hubs like Ireland and Singapore or Stockholm.

It needs to really try new things and the governemt is definitely making a concerted effort in immigration reform and regional integration with Southern Asia, I just think it’s not enough to really change the nature of the current game.

Mainly I don’t think they have enough diversity and depth in the local talent pool to allow it to up its game in a global service and informatics economy! They really do need more immigrants in this regard.


What have you got against Taiwanese people?


What makes you think they dont count their pennies there ?

I had an opportunity to briefly work with one of those high tech companies in China. They were some of the stingiest people I ever came across. No planning ability, save 5 Mao today so you have to pay millions tomorrow because ooops! Nobody saw this or that coming and changing their minds about important issues ten times a week as if they were running a family restaurant and not a big responsible corporation. Those people drove everyone nuts. Never again.


I think he does have a point here. Taiwan has been treading water for a long time. For decades, the country has mostly been getting the immigrants it wants (Southeast Asian and Chinese baby-making machines) instead of the immigrants it needs. An overhaul of the immigration system is long overdue.


Taiwanese work damn hard and don’t seem to get anywhere. That’s a symptom of bad management. Bringing in cheap labor from overseas isn’t going to fix that, and more government can only make it worse.


Really? They are still one of the most successful economies in the world. China is stealing a lot of their spotlight at the moment and they are not swallowed by them.

They are doing pretty well.

I can think of at least 50 other countries where people work really hard and it doesnt take them anywhere.


I agree. They need new ideas and paradigms, not new worker bees. That’s the direction the immigration system should be tweaked in. Smarter government, not more government.



The problem is that Taiwan is competing with deeper and more diverse talent pools.

Silicon Valley attracts best and brightest from around the world.
Shenzhen from all around China and even outside China.
London, Dublin, Berlin, Stockholm…from all over Europe and beyond.

Taiwan can’t even hold onto the brainy and ambitious folks from a relatively small and low diversity population of 23 million.
They also need more foreign investment and trade links.
They wouldn’t need any of this if they are content to be a backwater with cheap labour and mega factories churning out stuff.

But to reach the stated aim ‘Asian Silicon Valley’ , they need that foreign DNA. Without it they will be Taiwan Rusty Factory Roof Valley’.


Why does the talent leave in the first place? Fix that, and there will be no need for foreigners. Don’t fix that, and the talented foreigners won’t stay either.

Foreign DNA? Sounds vaguely racist. What’s miscegenation got to do with it?


The Taiwanese I talk to are stressed out and a bit glum about the future. They feel pressure to work unreasonable hours or else get fired. I’ve seen that in the US. Combine this with employers talking about a labor shortage and wanting to bring in more foreigners and… same as the US.

I know this syndrome of symptoms, and I know what it means: a fundamental disconnect between the elite and the middle class. A Taiwanese Trump waits somewhere in the wings. That which can’t go on forever, won’t.

By the way, California has major problems. They’ve got a brain drain toward Texas, because life in La La Land is starting to suck kind of bad. Don’t know nothing about Shenzhen except that trash heaps are known to collapse thereabouts. That’s symbolic of something, surely.

In Texas there’s nothing to look at but cows. You know things are bad in Cali when they’d rather look at all those damn cows.


Most likely because of the low salaries local companies pay along with the long working hours.


They’d rather bring in cheap labor than pay what good labor is worth. That’s what immigration is all about. The flip side of that is the brain drain.

You get what you pay for, and good people can’t do business with cheapskates. As long as there’s somewhere to go, the good ones will get fed up with the bullshit and leave. But when there’s nowhere to go, things might just get ugly. This is why it’s so crucial for the elites to take the hint and start treating the workers they’ve got with respect.

Trump was preventable. The people who made his election possible by making life awful for the lower classes have learned nothing.

The French Revolution was also preventable.

What were we talking about again? Oh yeah. Government trying to direct the economy. Concentrate the decision-making where failure brings the least immediate pain. No tight feedback loop. What could possibly go wrong? Ask a Soviet farmer who can’t get parts for his tractor.


I don’t care what it sounds like, it’s the truth.
They need foreign DNA in terms of ideas, brains, culture, contacts , language and yes hot Scandinavian women.


Still trying to do an allegory to the US or U.K., sorry it doesn’t work.


If you’ve got a brain drain and your proposed solution is to bring in more foreigners, you’re either a retard or disingenuous.


Problem is China is attracting the best and brightest of Taiwanese. Talent drain on this Island is severe.

Meanwhile, the Government is mulling bring Indian workers -not engineers, but blue collars. Good luck with that.


We need an influx of foreign talent to transfer new knowledge to the locals. Here, knowledge is stalled due to educational structures and management practices.

So we need the dialogue, discourse, challenge. Not cheap labor. Not cost cutting. Problem is Taiwan, as said before, has lost its competitive edge because it was lulled into grabbing “low lying mangoes” as we say in Spanish. A Chinese market only. meanwhile, see South Korea conquering the world one cellphone/electronics and one content -music, soap aperas, movies- at a time.


So how will Taiwan change the bad management practices? Locals aren’t likely to demand it due to culture. Taiwanese bosses don’t care about anything except squeezing their employees and keeping every last NTD for themselves.

As for not cost cutting anymore, in this Chinese based culture, money is almost everything. They aren’t likely to change that anytime soon.

Taiwanese also seem to lack foresight. They won’t spend money now if it improves life later. A great example is the MRT system. They could have developed one back in the 1980s, but didn’t want to. So now Taiwan is playing catch-up with other Asian countries.