Why do Taiwanese have so little confidence in their own country?

Every Taiwanese I talk to, Made in USA, good, Made in Japan, good, Made in Germany (or any number of poorer EU countries), good. Made in Taiwan, BAD.

Take 2 items of the same quality, one made in Taiwan, one made in the US. The US made ones will sell for higher prices, people will line up to buy them, but even though the Taiwanese made item is the exact same quality, no Taiwanese will buy it even though it’s 1/3 the price. Why is that?? Are Taiwanese so defeatist?

Too many Taiwanese I meet all dream of immigrating to some Western country, like everything there’s so much better. Never mind that their infrastructure is basically in shambles due to lack of investment, education is crap due to lack of investments (teachers work so hard because they love the job but the state refuses to pay them according to the positive impact they have on society), etc…

Do most Taiwanese not realize that they have it so good here? There is freedom, government here isn’t stifling free expression, arresting people for criticizing the government, etc. and we have world class public transportation, excellent roads that aren’t full of major cracks and potholes (because many non-freeway streets are like this in the US, in some cases, some freeways are like that too), the country isn’t full of homeless people or drug dealers and junkies, and a healthcare system that is world class. Sure Taiwan has its faults but I mean, it’s their homeland…

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Idk about infrastructure being in shambles. It’s not beautiful and a bit of a mess. But it works and makes sense. In reality it is actually better than the majority of Europe and US. European and US infrastructures are old, outdated, and not really made for the future.

Edit: I believe most of the Nordic countries have pretty good infrastructure. So not including those.

I think being away makes me see how amazing Taiwan is in many aspects. Compared to Italy, only food and culture is more impressive. Italy is barely functioning and you’re not even free. One of the highest corporate tax, high income tax, lack of property rights and laws and regulations on everything. For example, you need a 3 year degree to paint nails as a business. You can’t do anything on you land without government permission. Sometimes you even need permission to change something about your own house. A lot of people on gov assistance and a lot of gov jobs that don’t actually work and is incredibly inefficient.

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Tell that to my wife!

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It just seems like the political will to update and rebuild infrastructure in the West isn’t there. There’s no investment in education either, like they just don’t care about the future. For example back when I was in school they had lots of shop classes. I found them very enjoyable and they taught me a lot. But these days, seems like they’re rushing everyone into college so they can be in debt to get a useless degree…

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what irritates me is when taiwanese praise the environment of western country’s as something they would like to live in but still ride their scooter to 7-11.

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Probably because voters are too stupid.

On a more serious note, people are just ill-informed and haven’t been to those countries/have only been to those countries on limited terms (travelling/studying abroad but only hang out with other Taiwanese students).

I firmly believe that looks matter. When it looks like shit, people (most?) will think that it is shit.

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I think it depends on what though. Taiwan doesn’t make comparable products to foreign imports in a lot of things. But for electronic the love for Japanese a bit annoying. You should see the electronics in Italy. There are some god awful Italian brands that I’ve never heard of. My Italian washing machine sounds like it’s going to blow up every time I run it.

Taiwanese also sucks at marketing and making things beautiful aesthetically. So they can make something just and good if not better but suck at marketing and make it look ugly. Like HTC. Great phones, horrible marketing and not that cool looking.

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What debt ? Most western countries got free education.

OP, because China.

Most Taiwanese I meet have little interest in emigrating especially to Western countries. But maybe that’s why they are still here . :grin:

As for made in Taiwan, I will choose Japanese appliances every time (preferably Japan origin but also some Taiwan origin) and also Korean brands for consumer electronics.
Just my experience cos I don’t like the shoddy design of many Taiwanese products (beeping, flashing, poor software integration, stuff breaking down).
In my house I have some laptops and fans and cooking equipment that is MIT … that’s it…

Now there are many things that are very well made in Taiwan like machinery and bikes and scooters and components and chips …You name it.

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Are you having these conversations with them in English? It might be a lack of confidence, it might be humility, it might be cynicism. People tend to downplay what they know.

Aside from the issue of imports vs. exports, when I go back to Seattle I hear similar complaining.

Taiwanese mid size washing machines are the worst. I never met one that actually washed my clothes successfully. The one in my last apartment died the week before I was moving out, glad my landlord didn’t notice otherwise she might have tried to pin it on me. Just kind of swishes the clothes around mildly.

But they make a mean chip for phones (tsmc)

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It’s perhaps even more pronounced for less expensive consumer electronics. Power banks. Dumb phones. Modems. Things like that. I don’t know how many times I’ve been in Guanhua and come across two products that appear to be the same.

Me: What’s the difference between these?
Shop owner: None. They are made in the same factory
Me: Then why is this three times as expensive?
Shop owner: Japanese company

Of course, the local product has a name like “Hapyness Electronics” and no manuals in English but I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem with such products actually working.

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I think this is more of a lack of confidence than anything else…

I mean, if they believed Taiwanese could achieve something then they’d put in much more effort on marketing, right?

Gogoro…

HTC until they hired Ironman to dance around with leprechauns.

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I think my issue is not so much their marketing ability.

It’s their mentality of basically being a follower, basically overusing every Western trends like ironman, Marvels, etc. and having absolutely nothing original and Taiwanese but instead just following “western countries” in anything pop culture related.

  1. The education system tells them Taiwan sucks.

  2. They learn the glorious history of the Mainland, but almost none about Taiwan.

  3. Their heroes are KMT and predatory businesspeople.

  4. Because of all the above, people are told to “escape” and leave to the US or anywhere else where there is no threat for them being themselves. If a kid is bright they practically force him to migrate.

  5. They do not know who they are.

I do not trust made in US anymore, as too many medicines and other delicate stuff have components or raw materials from China. When was the last time you saw an honest to goodness made in US washing machine or fridge like they used to do, that lasted a lifetime? Now, they do stuff worse than cheapest Korean or Chinese factory. Check the cloth labels of so called US brands: Bangladesh, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Honduras…cheap to slave labor making heaps of cheap clothes.

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Yeah and the shoe and big athletic brands would make you sick. Washing their hands by subcontracting through Taiwanese manufacturers in SEA.

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Idk where this myth comes from. China’s history and Taiwanese history had equal footing when I was in middle school and high school, and world (aka European) history was twice as important in the curriculum. This statement was true when my parents were students.

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