This is something I’ve always suspected. As a matter of fact, I see this behavior even with the moderately wealthy and maybe even the upper middle class. No surprise here. Lots of people with lots of money, and they might be driving a Toyota Camry and eating next to you at your favorite hot pot restaurant. (And then head home to one of their many apartments in Taipei.)
Unlike the stereotype of the new wealth portrayed in the film “Crazy Rich Asians,” most wealthy Taiwanese families eschew ostentatious displays of riches.
“We are not showy,” said art-lover Tsai, who co-heads Fubon Financial Holding Co. with his brother. "Taiwanese learned the importance of modesty from the Japanese and value the traditional Chinese virtue of humility.”
Chen agrees. “Most of our clients never fly business class,” he said.
That’s not to say Taiwan’s top 1 percent don’t know how to enjoy their money, they just do so without fanfare, said Annie Leung, chairman of Bellavita, a luxury mall in the heart of Taipei. The mall has a VIP club with fitting rooms where well-heeled shoppers can try on clothes and pricey jewelry without ever having to enter a store. Hermes even provides generic brown bags to people who don’t want to broadcast their purchases.
“They don’t want to have an obvious orange bag on the street,” said Leung, whose father C.C. Leung is co-founder of Quanta Computer Inc. “High-end consumers like to spend their money, but they don’t always like to be seen.”
I was sitting on my bike out front of a 7-11 on the way home from work last night enjoying a quality domestically produced tobacco product and this lady in a bigass new Beemer pulls up and stops in the bus lane, jumps out and runs in, and comes out a minute later with a bowl of instant noodles. Gets in and drives off.
Anyways, people in Taipei always lie about their money, worse than fuckin farmers.
Well I don’t personally know any ultra rich Taiwanese person, most ppl in my circle are really normal, but it is true that there are a ton of them and they tend to live frugally.
I’m not sure how credible that Knight Frank report is though. London having the most ultra high net worth individuals doesn’t surprise me (Mayfair is like a fucking freak show) but I doubt the notion that there are more of those in Taipei than in HK.
Beemer same as Bentley?
Usually a big Bentley would have a driver, but this lady was driving it herself?haha
I just observe my coworkers. They are the sons and daughters of general Puf Puff or Minister Blah Blah. They have several homes here and abroad. The younger ones -under 50- live with their parents. Most are single… and live far more frugally than the student helpers and alternative service youngsters. I mean, we all eat round here and they choose the 50 NTD cafeteria fare, the 60 NTD noodles, while yours truly has the Japanese bento for 150 NTD -yeah, I live large! No vacations, which means they get reimboursed. they do ocassionally splurge. I spotted one this week with a friggin LV bag, teh new cat designs, which si basically a lighter colored LV logo with drawing of cats that could have been done by my 4 year old niece. The friggin thing costs like 2 or 3 of my monthly salaries…
er… Tsai family is the top 5 richest families in Taiwan, the definitive richest if you count Fubon and Cathay United Bank together (both are from the same Tsai family).
These giant family financial corporations start by having good relations with the power in charge, getting lots of lands, then open up insurance companies, then develop those lands with the insurance money, just to sell or rent to those working public who paid those insurance money in the first place.
They are not gonna be driving around in Toyotas, let a lone driving themselves. At least not the heads of the mega corporations.
I’m sure you’re right. The rich I know are probably more upper middle class who have had their apartment(s) paid for by their parents. They seem to be very, very frugal (at least the ones I know).
These guys have homes and assets all over the world. They don’t live frugally they just don’t show off how they live while in Taiwan especially. And I don’t think it’s the Japanese, more so that in the 90s there was a kidnapping wave and rich people became very paranoid.
Also you need to be careful is saying Taiwan Bu JIngJI and telling your workers to fuck off with your pay increase if flaunting it too much.
There’s a good article somewhere about the top 10 richest families in Taiwan . They own almost everything around you. Most of them got their wealth from many generations back (excepting Wang and the Eva airlines/shipping owners), they own partial shares in the banks and finance groups. It’s weird because the other half of ownership in many of the bank is the Taiwan government . Probably it goes back to local banking families in Japanese times that cooperated with the colonial govt.
Then there’s another big tier of factory owners below them.
But apart from those theres also a huge number of millionaires from property holdings, from country bumpkins who benefited from urbanisation to retired civil servants and military officers .
Theres one more group, top engineers in some of the electronics companies did (and do) very well still in Hsinchu.
Unless they own land, otherwise what they are making is scraps compares to the land owners.
Yes compared to the land owners, I agree… Still with the stock options of companies in the 90s and more recently in TSMC, they did and are still doing pretty well.
There’s another good analysis of a landowner in Ximen Ding, that shows if you just had land there and did nothing for 50 years you would still be way richer than some guy who sold the land and built a factory back in the boom times. The main reason is that entrepreneurship is a lottery (large majority of enterprises fail) but land ownership in Taiwan was a guaranteed winner .
According to Credit Suisse and Allianz wealth reports the majority of wealth held by Taiwanese ppl is liquidity, not real estate. While it is true that a lot of wealth is in the shitty houses, there’s just as much in banks, the post office, and insurance etc. if not more.
nah, if you want a group in Taiwan that is comparable to land owners in terms of wealth, it’d be the religious leaders, especially the more sketchy ones.
Good point, some mega rich monks and religious orgs.
I’m just saying in terms of Joe soaps who have done well, hardware engineers are up there , mostly because there haven’t been other industries that have done so well here I guess. Hsinchu having the large concentration in terms of high incomes (and yes it may pail in comparison to those with the asset wealth and dividends).
That reflects the high savings rate across the population at large I guess. Taiwan has amongst the highest rate of private life insurance in the world I heard.
Also, as mentioned in the article, thousands of Taiwanese opened factories in China in the 80’s and made bank in the Made in China boom.
They haven’t taught their kids similar values. The way they flaunt the wealth they haven’t earned is shocking.
I wonder how much of that is here and how much is in the Caribbean/Swiss financial institutions.