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



I think the point really is that having a local citizenship here in Taiwan does have benefits for residency and travel rights. I think we can all accept that right?

And yes, as an example, non citizens cannot sponsor visas for extended family but citizens can.

And yes citizens can travel freely to China and non citizens may not necessarily be able to do that.

That’s all I was saying.


Even with citizenship, we cannot sponsor our elderly parents to come live with us here, effective denying our right and duties as filial children. But the fear of serial immigration or whatever it is called is such…They model their policies like US, or Japan, which in this day and age has proved problematic. Even Japan is changing. Why is Taiwan so far behind?


True. Non-citizen cant even sponsor a short visit though, which is even more disadvantaged. .


Many people are asking. Just to be clear:

  1. I’m a white caucasian from North Europe.
  2. Not a native English speaker.
  3. I’m so called foreign professional/talent. The company invited me to come Taiwan and work for them; not that I decided to come TW and search for a job. The companies I have worked were all big International companies; they are Taiwan core industries’ most famous ones.

As a foreign specialist I bet you wouldn’t have too much trouble finding a job within your industry in other countries as well. Are there any specific reasons why you continue to deal with these work conditions if you have the opportunity to go elsewhere ? Perhaps you have family here ?

I have also faced, to some extent, many of the issues at work that you have described here. My only reason for tolerating all of this is because it’s worse back home (in my case) and I really need the Taiwanese passport, which will perhaps someday help me to move to a better place or at least in the short-term make business travel easier. Because honestly my own passport wouldn’t even get me a visa-free entry in to a garbage bin. It’s so utterly useless.


From what I understand, the public discussion about more immigration took a very long time in Japan and is still ongoing even though the demographic pressure is indeed very high. If Taiwan requires a similar amount of time, any big changes are several years away at least. The pressure is simply not high enough yet.

It’s quite fun to chat in Chinese with Mainland exchange students working in Tokyo 7-11s though!


I had similar experiences in Korea. I was the White Monkey. Well, until I became the boss. Some guys thought it was still OK to disrespect me. And then somehow they were magically ‘transferred’ to the worst possible place (desert, 48C) for six months. I made sure to ask upon their return if they just had a beach vacation in Thailand as their tan was so dark (in a meeting for everyone else to hear). Big smile.

The only place in Asia that I wasn’t treated as an ‘alien’ was Malaysia and Singapore. Both are multicultural and multiracial countries. Mono cultures like Korea, Japan and Taiwan will take generations to change.

** I am still shocked at the low salaries here - for both foreigners and locals. And the COL is higher. **

Although the COL seems lower, I don’t think it is. You pay less but get less. I am new - moved here a week ago - but prices for anything decent are much higher than Malaysia, Singapore or the USA. Most apartments I have seen in Kaohsiung were either shit or expensive. Even the ones for 50,000 were just so so. Decent restaurants are not cheap. Prices at Costco - for the exact same item - are 30 to 50% higher than USA prices. Yes, hole-in-the-wall restaurants are cheap. But not any cheaper than hawker stalls in Singapore - and nowhere as cheap as Malaysia.

From my perspective, I would need a salary at least 50% higher than Malaysia.

Yes, you can live cheaply. Two of the people I know here that have been here a long time live in place that would be condemned in other parts of the world - hence the low rent. You have to compromise to make this place work.

But I have no worries as I am here to hire - not be hired.


It seems pressure is building rapidly. They are actually seriously talking about letting blue collar migrants settle permanently. This would be a great move in my opinion, I never saw the point of them coming here to work for so many years, learning some Chinese, adjusting to the culture , and then all their earnings and spending ultimately going back to their home countries.


A lot of women here are nervous around men and probably worse foreign men. The kitchens are really small and I also dawdle outside waiting for them to finish doing their thing.


One problem people face that have been here a long time is that they won’t fit in back home or in many other countries. Everything about you will give rise to suspicion - the way you speak, your mannerism, eye contact, etc. You will be a foreigner in your own country.

If you were say a white Australian and you went to the US - you would get a pass as you are expected to be different.


I don’t get that. Do you mean long term expat forget how to behave when they return home and this arouses suspicion?


Japan’s median age is a whopping seven years higher than Taiwan’s (47 vs 40). I also hope for a more open Taiwan but I think the process will take quite some time.


It takes me literally 3 days to adjust back to Kiwiland. You’re talking balderdash.


Well, it is not exactly about behaviour. It is the subtle way people carry themselves after being in a foreign country for extended periods. It is a well known phenomenon in the expat working world. Many expats return to the home office after 3 or 4 years abroad have issues. If you have been gone long enough you may have forgotten how people are back home - you will be judged on everything about you.


About the same time for me. I usually need to get honked once or twice to stop driving like a cunt.


The eye contact one is a funny one. I have to make an effort in that regard as there is little direct eye contact here.
Accent is also a big one.


When I returned to the US some people asked me if I was German or European. I didn’t have an accent but I did use different terminology.


I always get taken aback by shop assistants interacting with me instead of hiding behind the cash register with a look of fear in their eyes.

I try and prepare a back story first week back for stores I walk into.


I especially hate this.


Again. That is not due to the lack of citizenship as much as the banking system.