Tech Company Nonsense

Hey All,

I recently started working for a tech hardware company in Zhonghe.

I’ve gotta ask - what on earth is up with the salaries here, as well as negotiations therein?

You’d think I asked for the moon with how up in arms the company got when I asked for 60K NT.

Has anyone had a similar expirence?

What’s more is that this company owes me back-pay, for services rendered prior to my start date. Instead of paying me outright, they made me agree to accept the sum in incremental portions, dispersed through paychecks scattered through my official probationary period.

Is this legal?

Also, I’ve lived in Taipei for sometime, but am just now getting an ARC. As such, the company wants to withhold the customary 18% tax for the rest of 2018.

Is that reasonable or should I fight back?

Hello, and welcome to forumosa. Welcome as well to the working world of Taiwan (such as it is).

I don’t have experience in tech companies, so I’ll let others advise you about this. But regarding taxation, the basic rule is that you must reside 183 days in a calendar year to have access to Taiwan’s progressive tax rates and deductions. Otherwise you’ll be taxed at a flat rate of 18% for the 2018 taxation year, or in future years if you don’t reside in Taiwan for 183 days during that calendar year. On this count, anyways, it seems that the company is simply following basic SOP.

Hope you can sort out the other issues soon.


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Thanks Guy!

I’m not actually new to Forumosa, but I thought if I was gonna rant about my job, best to do it with an account that doesn’t mention my name.

Thanks for the info re: taxation. Do you have any expierience claiming tax refunds? The internet is clear about its existence, but its not super heavy on details.

Don’t know if it’s legal , I do know if you fight it they will can you anyway.

Fairly typical ‘creative’ behaviour of Taiwanese employers. Look for another job while getting paid by these cowboys.

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60k isn’t much. But you are in Taiwan, where there are local people lining up probably to find a job and they would do it for 30000. Sometimes there are also locals asking for these high numbers in Taipei. I had a guy asking me for 100K. And if he didn’t get it he would rather stay unemployed and live of his dad’s money… But in Zhonghe maybe it’s a small company? Then yeah 60K is probably a lot for them…

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I just expect Taiwanese companies to be incompetent and am suprised otherwise


It’s technically illegal to begin work before your ARC is processed, which is why your employer would like the tax rate to match the official days working, to avoid raising suspicion.
It’s kind of sh#tty of them to pay you incrementally for prior work, especially if that wasn’t made clear beforehand that it would be paid out this way. But again, not illegal… since it wasn’t legal for you to do the work you’re getting paid incrementally for.
It does sound like they’re a smaller company, so forking over all the money at once may be hard for them? Dunno.


This part is easy. You file your tax return as required by law (this happens in the spring some time for the previous calendar year) and if you have a refund coming to you, it will be paid on August 1, on the dot (well, at least that’s how the National Taxation Bureau in Taipei City handles it—at other sites, including Xinbei, YMMV). There are heaps of threads on this topic, and on other issues related to taxation, here on forumosa. Have a look and many of your questions may be answered.


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I got almost 60k per month almost 20 years ago in Taipei in a small tech company. The generation slightly before me were getting more and they got some huge bonuses and stock options too!

My point being

  1. it’s disappointing to see not much change that way
  2. there are plenty of locals on more than 60k as well as less than 60k in Taipei. He should not compare to a local at 30k because that person prob has shit English to start with and it would be pretty bad for Taipei …Many engineers and managers make 100k plus per mth esp with bonuses.
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If it’s an entry level position with no English requirement then 60k might be ok as you would be competing with locals. I am a software engineer with significant previous experience and a company offered me 60k but wanted me to do management tasks as well and presentations to overseas management since I was a native English speaker. I told them to get lost as 60k wouldn’t cover my mortgage, car payments and I have a wife and 3 kids to support. These sort of places are not worth your time.


Hey everyone! Thanks for the great feedback.

It may shock you to hear this (and it shocks me everyday), but the company I work for is by no means small, complete with branches around the world. Once upon a time, it was one of the largest providers of CRT monitors in the world.

There is a heavy english requirement for my job, and despite the company’s multinational status, the internal english communication level is lower than you’d expect. On a daily basis, I’m seeing formal communiques rife with grammatical and punctuation erros.

The level of incompetence is staggaring, and it feels like they’re needlessly pinching pennies. In the end, they wouldn’t even give me the 60k, which had been initially promised. Instead, when the contract arrived, and after much arguing on my part, 56 ended up being “the best they could do”.

And yes, I am actively searching for better-paying and more-satisfying work as we speak.

Ah yes the last offer always involves further penny pinching, the HR managers probably think it’s like haggling for a discount at the night market . I have vast experience of this kind of behaviour perfectly normal in Taiwan. It’s not tech company nonsense it’s just regular joesoap Taiwanese employer nonsense.

By the way if the company you are talking about is Chunghwa Picture Tubes well they have a lot of problems right now with 5000 staff potentially being laid off !

Another famous traditional company in this area is Datong (edit: turns out that the parent company of CPT is Datong lol).


Ok, I’ll drop the pretense, the company I’m talking about starts with a V and ends with Sonic. It’s insane to me that a company I’ve seen worldwide is so internally sketchy and mismanaged.

From what I understand, and who knows if it’s actually true, but my offer went well above the HR manager, but all the way up to the president of the company. Penny piching all the way up to the top.

The largest cultural aspect that I see is the one involving respect for roles and analog processes. No one seems to care if the work gets done or if it gets done well, but rather if the hierarchy and corporate status quo is maintained.

With that said, and given the pervasiveness of these issues in Taiwanese corporte culture, is there any possibility of finding something better or should I try to make the best of things?

This V sure sounds like a bad company, I will avoid their products in the future.

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I think you may be underestimating our collective years in the suck here


Here’s a thought - see if they are willing to virtually outsource your services on a contract basis - just make sure you get everything in writing and sizable retainer…

Remember, this is Taiwan - they are NOT globally orientated and know very little when it comes to marketing…their main claim to fame is “we can make it cheaper” which doesn’t fly very well in today’s global marketplace.

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After working for 3-4 years in Taiwanese firms, I decided to call it a day and felt it is better to leave Taiwan rather than working for a local firm. The problems you mentioned such as bad management, penny pinching, bad culture , horrible top-down working style and just lazy people all around - quintessential Taiwanese!

Regarding your pay, 60k might be low according to you, but you got to keep in mind that you’re still earning over 50% then what most recently graduated Taiwanese do!! I am not sure how much experience you have but if this is your first/second job, you could choose to carry on, get some experience and leave!! I am working in an European firm and can not imagine going back to Taiwanese company again. I am not going to talk about how my employer is so much better but just letting you know the truth. Taiwanese companies treat their staff like tools and not like resources; explains the high turn over rate.

Try to upgrade your skill set, learn more things and when you get the chance to leave, don’t think twice!


What do you see yourself in 5 years? Do you have any prior experience in electronics ? If you want to work in electronics industry this may not be a bad start. But put a time limit on it.
If you don’t want to work in electronics it could be a waste of time.

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haha perhaps so. It’s just that, for a company that operates dual headquarters in North America and Europe, I expected better

I’ve known many foreigners who started out at local ODMs and OEMs and did very well for themselves, most much better than I! Quite a few have their own businesses . It was a long hard slog though …Those guys would recognise v-c on a CV and would give you an interview, you would have to put in a couple of years though I’d say. You’d have to have something to bring to the table and have a bit of Taiwan ‘time’ under your belt.