Taiwan is now the 10th most expensive place to send expat employees

That’s a good point. For most of us that have been living here, rent is not bad at all. Especially compared to other places in that list.

I think it’s those companies that specializes in expat rentals that’s jacking up the price since Taiwan seemed to be a hot location during the pandemic as a economic winner and doing very well with containment of the Wuhan virus.


Probably jacked up the prices of rentals and housing and schools in Hsinchu, that may account for it.

So what was your reason for saying it that way? Would you also say UK is only expensive if you send them to “London City” and Japan if you send them to “Tokyo City”? Yes, London, Tokyo, and Taipei are where most expats will be going in those countries. Calling it “Taipei City” makes it sound like you’re one of those people who thinks “Taipei” somehow includes other places outside of the city of Taipei. It doesn’t. Taipei is a city. Outside of “Taipei City” is not Taipei.

I think we get that part. Even from an employer’s point of view, cost of living for employees is a major factor in the cost. It’s still weird to see Taiwan listed with all of these much-more-expensive countries.


Saying Taipei City is to differentiate and emphasise from New Taipei City as many people in colloquially refer to the whole region as Taipei. So I am adding clarity.

Seems like you answered your own question.

And by the way, If you were familiar with London even a little, you would know there is an independent ‘City of London’ that is an independent city politically from London.


:roll: Try to avoid patronising people who have lived here for years.


Some Taiwan law or other gave me about a 70% increase in my base salary for retirement benefits. I have no idea how the law works as I didn’t complain in case my company wanted to rethink my transfer, but that applies to wherever you work. This makes me far more expensive to employ in than in either the US or Singapore.

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That is true everywhere, not just in Taiwan. Taiwan has ridiculously favorable labor laws which makes employing people more expensive.

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We in the UK have just had a new 1.25% tax announced, so we’re likely back at the top again. Probably because of this list


How does one go about finding one of these oversees expat jobs in Taiwan?

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I imagine it’s a job one work towards, not one applies for.

Basically if you have to ask, you won’t get it.

At least that’s the impression I get. All the expats I know, or have known, are highly qualified and have CV that makes mine look like trash, and it really looks like a one percenter type of job.

Problem with immigration laws of most countries is only those type of people are generally welcomed.

Oh yes. This sucks. Especially since it’s also on dividends. I pay myself in dividends.

Actually the cool kids call it “the big T”.


I see your point. However there are probably tax incentives for foreign companies opening shop/expanding in Australia, they are pretty big on foreign investment, especially technology companies. In Taiwan is there any such thing? Bear in mind, it could go the other way in Taiwan, there may be tax disincentives for foreign companies, to prevent competition with local darlings. Genuine question: why didn’t ebay ever take off here?

Providing or subsidising a commensurate standard of living to other countries with, er… standards, in accommodation gets very costly very quickly in Taiwan.

List checks out.

“ex-pat package” always includes school fees for one or multiple children. This is likely that big driver in Taiwan and Japan - international schools are extremely expensive.

In Australia, expats will probably send their kids to a public or reasonably priced private school.


And in some cases trips “home” in business class for the family, which is not cheap.

I’m not sure, but for years, some people here–and I mean some Taiwanese–tended to put the word “City” after the names of cities. (I don’t know if they still do that.) For example, back when Banqiao District was a city, I think my boss used to write “Banqiao City” on envelopes and in correspondence. Maybe it was just my boss, but I think other Taiwanese attached City to the names of cities.

Also, New Taipei City used to be Taipei County, so you had two geographical entities called Taipei. A lot of people here–both Taiwanese and foreigners–remember when 新北市 was 台北縣.

Here’s an example of the words “Taipei City” and 『台北市』being used in giving the address of a McDonald’s restaurant in Da’an District.

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Yep, flights too.

There’s also selection bias at work here.

Expats generally arent going to move to Asia, especially with family, unless they’re offered a huge salary package. It’s a big life change, language barrier, different food etc. Most people just aren’t that adventurous.

This pushed up the average size of the salary package for Asian countries. Note it’s unrelated to how much things cost in the country itself.


Most companies hire expats where they are located. Multinationals could hire expats from any country they are located to work in Taiwan. Belgian companies that work on the offshore wind farms have expats from many countries working for them as they have offices worldwide. Sometimes you get lucky and apply for an expat package job here in Taiwan, a friend of mine was many years ago.

Example: Dredging Jan De Nul

You need to first identify an industry and the reason they need a foreigner. What value do you bring by being here? Oftentimes, at least in my experience, its because you understand how the head office works and can be relied upon to get these done here in Asia. So that is why you are brought in from the home country and not hired locally. You need to understand their business first and link the two worlds together.

Although I have found now many recruiters will reach out with opportunities once you’re here and already have the experience. So I think it’s more likely you can change jobs and be hired “locally” once you’ve established yourself.

After I decided there was no future on my previous path in Taiwan, it took me ten years of climbing the corporate ladder in my home country to eventually be sent back.

Schools in Taiwan are generally cheaper than HK or Shanghai. No experience with Japan though.