Someone did raise this topic once before, but until now I hadn’t actually tried to register and host a web site in Taiwan. Now that I’ve had the experience, I’d say “probably not worth it.”
I fully intended to register a .com.tw rather than a .com, but it seems that if you want to register a domain with a .tw on the end, you need to have a company registration number: 統一編號 Tǒngyī biānhào. It doesn’t seem to matter if your web site is commercial or just for personal use, Hinet and the other Taiwanese registers all demand it or you don’t get to register. Give it a try if you want:
The Hinet domain registry also doesn’t seem to allow any way to register a .com or .org or .net. They are strictly for .tw dispensations. Which is maybe just as well, since they charge NT$800/year (US$26.88) for registration, which is rather steep by world standards.
I did consider registering the domain in a foreign country and doing the actual hosting in Taiwan. I found one Linux-based web hosting service in Taiwan (Windows will cost you at least double) charging a reasonable NT$200/month for 80GB of traffic, which is more than I need:
However, registering in one place and hosting elsewhere is already a nuisance, made worse when the hosting service personnel barely speak English (and there is no English on their web site). Taiwan does not seem to be at all geared to capturing even a tiny share of the non-Taiwanese market for web hosting - rather odd for a country that wants to be known for its “hi-tech” economy.
I wound up going to Malaysia for the registration and hosting, using this service: www.malaysiahosting.net. Very cheap and so far, so good, though I’ve only been using it for a few days. Aside from price, English-speaking ability of the staff was a big consideration. Singapore was another possibility, but Malaysia was cheaper.