Why white collar westerners shouldn't work in Taiwan or for Taiwanese companies?



Taiwan isn’t the same as HK, it’s not even close. People don’t get paid their worth in Taiwan. I’m almost certain people posting in this thread are talented and work hard


I don’t think I’m particularly talented, but I can work hard when prodded.


25 plus days per year is really good in Taiwan, flexitime , company employees ? That’s very rare here.

I’ve negotiated directly with a CEO and HR of a multi billion dollar Taiwanese company and they still wouldn’t give me more than 10 or 14 days starting off, would upset their working structure supposedly. They got all miffed when I turned down their offer too saying it was a great offer.
You see the problem in Taiwan is even senior long term managers in big companies might be on very average salaries.


CEO are on very average salaries. You only get money if you’re a shareholder as a CEO.


Don’t be duressing your lapels on our account, bub.


Sadly, you are correct. 12 years in Japan, 3 in China, and 3 in Taiwan, support your points. I was a translator-troubleshooter for USA residents, students, and tourists. Language skills, extensive knowledge of history, and ‘culture’ had no value: I was a foreigner. My favorite question, in December: “Are you going home for the holidays?” The fact that I had a house, a car, a Golden Retriever, and two cats, did not register. As far as they were concerned, I did not ‘live’ there.


For a “plant”, that’s an impressive number of likes (including by regulars) and posts that mostly agree with OP. :2cents:


Yep he just sounds like somebody who has worked here 11 years to me, all very believable.


I’ve also thought the same thing.

What kind of career paths and work environment do white-collar westerners from 1st world developed countries expect when they come for job opportunities in Taiwan?


It was a joke, dude. His substance makes sense.


oooooooo… how much are they paying per post these days?


I tend to agree on most of the OP’s points, and people assuming that most of the foreigners here are just here temporarily. Most of the Taiwanese people make this presumption that all these foreigners are just here to work, and not to live or contribute to Taiwan’s culture.

One of the few perks I get as an Asian American is that I somehow “belong” here more than, say, Caucasians or other “foreign” looking individuals. Because I resemble somewhat of a local look, many do not think that I am a foreigner until I show them my ARC. (This caused me more trouble with work, but that’s another issue.)

It’s a bizarre phenomenon in Taiwan (China too? I can’t say from my lack of experience.) For example, if you make substantial efforts trying to blend in and respect Japanese culture, they will accept you and take you as one of them. It might take a while, but people would recognize that. However here in Taiwan, no matter how hard you try, there will always be a boundary that we foreigners will never be able to cross. :thinking:


Working for international companies is generally a better option, the number of opportunities are fairly few though especially for regional jobs.


Pretty sure you’ll always be gaijin-san.

Honestly I don’t blame the East Asians for their assumptions. For one Westerner who settles and tries to integrate, how many breeze through with their own sense of superiority and racism?

And when people keep bringing the old stereotypes even when they’ve known you for decades: that’s human nature for you. Most people have ingrained prejudices and stereotypes that they’d rather cultivate than confront. Nothing special in Taiwan about that.


Wait, like, 8am to 7pm? And that counts as good working hours??


Well, I said max 8-7. I dont see an issue with doing 8-7 some days, when most days you might be out of the office around 6.

And obviously you wouldn’t be working the entire time, you could run down for coffee, get lunch, etc. in between as well.



Excellent article! Right on point! I don’t necessarily agree with everything you said about Taiwanese people but as far as work culture goes you have essentially described my own experiences. Having worked for many years in local companies in both China and Taiwan I can absolutely relate to some of things you have said.

My experiences are perhaps only slightly worse being a “brown asian” rather than a “white westerner” white-collar worker.

On the plus side I do get some to collect interesting stories to share over beer with my friends.

For example, I never ever go in to the company kitchen when any other female Taiwanese colleague is alone inside. I will stand outside until she is done before going in. I do it out of courtesy so as not to startle them because they visibly get nervous around me alone, as if am going to rob them or hurt them.

Sometime it’s just funny watching them scramble for their belongings, trying to move their purses or pick up their phones when I merely stand or sit near them :slight_smile:


LOL, well said. Not being a native speaker myself I have to constantly watch out for this every now and then to prevent my English from deteriorating.


sorry to hear that, definitely a good example of daily unspoken racism here.


For those who complain that they can’t get a Taiwanese citizenship, I don’t buy it for a second.