Tsai’s ‘Asian Silicon Valley’ Comes Under Fire

Tsai’s ‘Asian Silicon Valley’ Comes Under Fire
Photo Credit: 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen

What you need to know

From its proposed location in Taoyuan to confusion over the development aspects, Taiwan’s ‘Silicon Valley’ has yet to charm Taiwan’s high-tech start-ups.

The Asia Silicon Valley, one of the five industries that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has vowed to develop, has received heavy criticism from the tech start-up community in Taiwan.

In comments today, Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Jason Hsu (許毓仁), who has positioned himself as a voice for Taiwan's youth, said the idea of building an Asian Silicon Valley was “ridiculous.”

Building more office buildings, he says, will not help to attract international talent and start-ups to Taiwan. Moreover, without the supply of technology, talent and market, an Asian Silicon Valley would never be successful, he added.

Hsu referred to the "Cyberjaya" science park in Malaysia as an example of possible failure if a government simply focuses on building facilities.

Hsu says the wrong policies will strongly influence the future and that Taiwan has no more time to waste.

In response, Premier Lin Chuan (林全) said the key to developing the Asia Silicon Valley was to attract talent. Lin said he hopes to build an environment that is suitable for innovative industries to develop.

The development project was scheduled to be reported to the Executive Yuan (EY) today. However, Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫), deputy minister of the National Development Council, said the plan has received complaints and disagreements from technology start-up companies. As a result, the administration elected to delay the report to the EY.

Lin Tahan (林大涵), CEO of Backer-Founder, says the development aspects of the policy is not clear enough, adding that the location of the Asia Silicon Valley is probably the reason for the backlash from start-ups.

In response, Kung says the reason why Taoyuan has been selected is to create local jobs. He says the government will continue to gather input from the public before it reports its plan to the EY.

First Editor: J. Michael Cole
Second Editor: Olivia Yang


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