He/She doesn’t even have to be a local, just of Chinese ancestry, apparently. My wife, who holds a Malaysian passport, was able to get a Visa from Citibank when I wasn’t, despite the fact that my salary was roughly 4 times what hers was. This was in 1996. I was, however, able to get a car loan in my own name through Citibank.
For those of you who are wondering, having credit in Taiwan generally does not help your credit rating in the US (I’m not sure yhow it works in other countries). When we returned to the US after about 9 years in Taipei, I essentially had no credit history. This made buying a house a bit difficult. I asked about using my Taiwan credit file, but was told they generally didn’t do that, and it would cost a couple hundred bucks to have it checked. So if you’re here for a long time but plan to go back to the US eventually, try to maintain your US credit cards.