Directory of TAIWAN

There is a publication which is put out by the Taiwan News called “Directory of TAIWAN.” It is a useful reference of companies, government agencies, overseas representative offices, local foundations, and a wide range of other Taiwan organizations, complete with addresses, telephone numbers, fax numbers, etc.

I tend to buy this Directory every two years, so I guess I am due for a new one in 2002. The problem is that there are a lot of mistakes in the Directory, and no one at the Taiwan News seems to care one way or the other.

Specifically, over the past three years, on numerous occasions, I have contacted the Taiwan News and attempted to find someone to whom I could point out these problem areas in detail. Each time when someone there said “We will have the appropriate person call you,” I never heard anything more about it. Surprisingly, in late December of 2000 I was invited to an interview at the Taiwan News, about foreigners’ work permit issues. That was the day of the Staff Christmas Party. I spoke to several of the Chinese staff there (none of whom could speak English at all fluently), and mentioned this problem. They all told me that they would check up on it, find an appropriate person, and have them get in touch with me. They took down my telephone number, fax number, and email address. I never heard anything more about it.

Actually, about five or six years ago I was corresponding with someone over at the Taiwan News about the many problems in their Directory of TAIWAN. I would occasionally send him brief messages of mistakes or inaccurate data, out of date information, etc. that I found. He never gave me any notification of the receipt of those messages, or whether he was interested in receiving any more. Later I started getting rejection notices saying that his email account was no longer valid, so I stopped my attempts to be helpful.

In the back of the Directory of Taiwan, is there a place to note MISTAKES/CORRECTIONS, and then a FAX number to submit them to? No. Is there a contact email address to which an observant reader may submit MISTAKES/CORRECTIONS? No. Is there any way to submit ideas on how to make future editions more complete and more helpful to the expatriate community here? No.

If there are any people who work or have worked at the Taiwan News, or due to other circumstances have some insight into what is going on over there, could you please explain all of this to me? I am stumped.

Guess its a seller’s market – they don’t give a shit about their product because there’s no competition. Who else publishes an equivalent?
Its “cha bu do,” but that’s OK because many of the folks that buy it know about, but don’t care about, the accuracy of the contents.
They use it as a reference source over at CNA, for example, where they seem to have the attitude that “if its printed there in black and white, it must be correct,” even if its obviously completely wrong.
Just the China News logo on the front alone should be enough to steer you clear of this particular publishing gem.

a short corrections pamphlet was produced earlier this year. The last (2001) full edition was worthless it had so many mistakes – the finance minister hadn’t been for almost a year, for instance, and there were several KMT era appointees lurking in there.

The person in charge was, remarkably, punished in some way – the Taiwan News management normally steers clear of challenging incompetence.

So the new corrections edition came out and on the inside page it said, roughly, “for corrections to this edition please contact the Paiwan News…”

Richard: the directory used to be based in a separate building from the news room, which I think you visited. You might have more luck pursuing them now I believe they’ve all moved to the same place. If you haven’t got a direct number for the directory, try phoning and asking for Rex Wang – he should be able to point you in the right direction.