Corning Hosts AmCham Taipei Field Trip

Corning Display Technologies, one of Taiwan’s largest foreign investors, played host on July 12 to an AmCham Taipei field trip to its high-tech glass manufacturing plant in the Central Taiwan Science Park in Taichung. A group of 25 AmCham members and staff got the chance to see the highly automated, continuous process in which glass for smart phones, computer screens, and TVs is formed, cut, washed, and packaged.

In a briefing prior to the tour, Daniel Tseng, president of Corning Display Technologies Taiwan, stressed the importance of constant innovation in enabling the New York-based parent company to be a technology leader throughout its 168 history. On the average, the company annually invests an unusually high 8-10% of revenue in research and development.

Highlights of the Corning history include production of the glass for the first electric lightbulb, invented by Thomas Edison in the 1870s; the first television picture tubes; breakthroughs in optical fiber that have made modern communications possible; and the ultra-strong Gorilla Glass that protects many mobile devices.

Corning has invested nearly US$5 billion in Taiwan, and about 10% of the company’s 45,000 worldwide workforce is located on the island. Corning Display Technologies is one of the few foreign-invested companies in Taiwan that include R&D, design, engineering, manufacturing, and sales and marketing in a fully integrated operation.

Besides the Taichung site, Corning Display also manufactures glass at facilities in the Southern Taiwan Science Park in Tainan. It also maintains administrative offices and the Corning Advanced Technology Center in Taipei, as well as a research center on the campus of the Industrial Technology Research Institute in Hsinchu.

Future areas for the company’s development include glass and ceramics for the automotive, life science, and mobile consumer electronics industries.

Given the non-stop glass-making operation that works around-the-clock, 365 days a year, Tseng emphasized the importance for Corning Taiwan of a stable and sufficient electric-power supply.

Understanding China’s Environmental Policy Within Today’s Context

AmCham Taipei hosted Alex Wang, professor of law at the University of California at Los Angeles, in a seminar-style discussion at the Chamber’s Lincoln Room on July 11. Wang gave an overview of China’s environmental regulations and legal and political institutions, as well as introducing his own predictions for China’s environmental outlook over the next century. Seminar participants were able to ask questions in an intimate setting with one of the world’s most prominent experts in this field.

Attendees included media professionals, academics, students, and industry representatives.

Wang noted that over the past 10 years, China has had an increasingly high concentration of PM2.5 particles compared to other countries. These tiny particles are particularly damaging to human health. He demonstrated an interactive platform that uses satellite imagery to allow the viewer to see global PM2.5 concentrations live here. Participants could note the high concentration of PM2.5 in and around eastern China.

Wang attributed the rapid increase in air pollution in China since the early 2000s to the country’s entrance into the World Trade Organization, which spurred huge growth in industrial production. But although China is a large polluter in nominal terms, in terms of per-capita pollution its CO2 emissions are substantially lower than those of the U.S., he pointed out. Wang also noted that approximately one-third of China’s emissions are caused by production for export to the U.S., European Union, and Japan.

Sharing the effects of decreased air pollution during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when motor traffic was curtailed and factory operations suspended, he cited one study that found that women who gave birth a month after the Olympics had significantly healthier babies.

The Lincoln Room is made possible by the generosity of a number of sponsoring companies:

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Note: AmCham events are intended primarily for AmCham members and their guests. Many events are open to members’ guests and other non-members, but the attendance of any non-member must be approved in advance. AmCham reserves the right not to admit a non-member to any event without explanation.

2019 Member Survey Results: High level of satisfaction with AmCham Taipei

Advocacy is the service most AmCham Taipei members value the most. The vast majority of the membership is satisfied with the organization. The events that interest them the most are industry forums and panel discussions. About half read our Taiwan Business TOPICS magazine at least once a month.

Those were the main takeaways from a survey that was sent to all AmCham members last month. The information was invaluable to the staff and Board of Governors. The feedback will be used to make adjustments and improvements so that we can better serve our members. The number of responses: 142 in 2019 vs 111 in 2017

Question 1: What services do you value most?

  • Advocacy 53.5%
  • Networking 14%
  • Information Sharing 15.5%
  • Events 6%
  • Publications 10.6%

Question 2: Overall, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with AmCham?

  • Very satisfied 27.5%
  • Satisfied 52%
  • Neutral 20%
  • Dissatisfied .7%
  • Very Dissatisfied 0%

Question 3: What kind of AmCham events interest you the most? (choose top 3)

  • Industry forums & panel discussions 83%
  • Talks by corporate leaders 75%
  • Speeches by government officials 65%
  • Networking events 31%
  • Professional development 19%
  • Field trips 19%

Question 4: How would you rate AmCham’s advocacy efforts?

  • Excellent 31%
  • Good 50%
  • Fair 11%
  • Poor 2%
  • Not applicable 7%

Question 5: How do you read Taiwan Business TOPICS magazine?

  • Hard copy 46%
  • Online 22%
  • Both 28%
  • Neither 4%

Question 6: How often do you read TOPICS online and/or in print?

  • Once a month 47%
  • A few times a month 25%
  • Less than once a month 20%
  • About once a week 6%
  • A few times a week 2.2%

AmCham greatly appreciates all members who participated in the survey. The organization aims to do a survey every year to gauge the membership’s interests and monitor the organization’s performance.

To thank the community for participating in the survey, a lucky draw contest was held and three lucky winners were selected:

  • Alex Lin from Herbalife
  • Ronald Chen from Santa Fe Relocation
  • Jay Yu from Monolithic Power Systems

The chamber always welcomes suggestions, complaints and encouragement from members. If you didn’t have a chance to complete the survey or have feedback you would like to share, please contact us here.

AmCham’s “Underground Ambassador” recalls the crisis of 1979

AmCham Taipei held a special luncheon on April 18 at the Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel, to reflect on the important role it played in contributing to the drafting of the Taiwan Relations Act 40 years ago.

We were honored to have former Chairman Robert Parker (office title then President) back to reminisce about the events following the U.S. decision to sever ties with Taiwan. He showed video clips of his testimony before U.S. Congressional committees in February 1979 that stressed the need to strengthen the draft legislation prepared by the Carter administration to govern future U.S. Taiwan relations. AmCham urged that the bill include U.S. support for Taiwan’s security and establish a clear legal foundation for interaction between the two governments.

Watch more clippings of Parker’s testimony: Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

In addition, AmCham at that time stepped forward to ensure that various U.S. community institutions, including the Taipei American School, American Club, English-language radio station, and youth organizations could continue to operate smoothly after derecognition. It’s a period the Chamber looks back on with pride, and one of the prime examples of how the organization works for the best interests of both the U.S. and Taiwan.

Robert Parker was welcomed by AmCham President William Foreman, former Presidents, Taiwan Business TOPICS Editor-in-chief Don Shapiro, and members of the Chamber.

Xia Jingshan’s art and charity celebrated at Cherry Blossom Festival

The Xia Jingshan Arts & Culture Foundation hosted a salon in the scenic surroundings of New Taipei City’s Shiding district, in the company of many VIP guests.

The idyllic mountain retreat of Wuji Tianming Temple (无极天明宫) was the venue on March 16 for a culturally exciting event that celebrated the life, work and charitable endeavors of the renowned painter and calligrapher Xia Jingshan (夏荊山).

Major original works by the artist were on show, some not seen in Taiwan before, including the masterpiece, Dragon King Worships Avalokiteśvara. There was also a classical music recital, explications of Jingshan’s paintings, and the seasonal beauty of the cherry blossom season to admire.

Though the 96-year-old artist who lives in California was unable to attend due to a recent illness, prominent businessmen and politicians such as Legislator (and former Legislative Yuan speaker) Wang Jin-pyng attended the “2019 Cherry Blossom Festival – Ode to Spring: Xia Jing Shan Calligraphy and Painting Art Connoisseurship Salon.” The appearance of former legislative speaker Wang drew considerable media attention, as he had recently announced his bid for the Kuomintang nomination for president.

Also present were AmCham Taipei President William Foreman, Honorary Director of Taiwan Public Welfare Research Institute Wu Xiting, Wuji Tianming Temple Director Cai Qionghui, Xia Jingshan Arts & Culture Foundation Chairperson Susie Shiah, and President of Meifu Real Estate Hou Yuantang.

Xia Jingshan Arts & Culture Foundation CEO Chao Chung-chieh  said this was the first time the dreamlike, eight-meter long painting Dragon King Worships Avalokiteśvara had been displayed in Taiwan. Chao said that since the Xia Jingshan Arts & Culture Foundation was launched at the beginning of 2014, it had been committed to education, academic research and cultivating talent.

William Foreman, pointed out that AmCham and Xia Jingshan Arts & Culture Foundation share the same floor in an office building on Minsheng East Road in Taipei. “I feel so fortunate to have Xia Jingshan as a neighbor because every day when I pass by the Foundation’s gallery, I stop to admire the beautiful art,” he said. “The paintings inspire me and put me in a calm, contemplative mood that helps me throughout the day.”

Susie Shiah, who is Xia Jingshan’s daughter, said the annual Cherry Blossom Festival and art salon was a way of ensuring that her father’s legacy continues.

Xia was born in China’s Shandong province and was from a young age inspired by Buddhism. He moved to Taiwan and in the 1970s studied in the United States. He helped repair Longxing Temple in Shandong and his works of art went into space with the Shenzhou VII spaceship. His Buddhist paintings and calligraphy are famed and have been shown at many of the world’s leading galleries and museums.

The event was co-organized by Xia Jingshan Arts & Culture Foundation, The American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei, Tianming Temple, Taipei Medical Alliance, Taiwan Philanthropic Study Institution, Xia Jingshan Academy of Nanjing University, Wei Chuan Corporation and the International Management Program of Prague College.

Insights from Germany: Fighting Misinformation

In the digital age, false and misleading information can spread to millions instantly and manipulate public opinion. The issue of misinformation or fake news has preoccupied policymakers around the world, especially when it comes to elections.

To help enhance understanding of the issue, AmCham Taipei invited experts to explain different approaches to combating misinformation at a forum entitled, “Tackling Misinformation – Lessons Learned from Germany and Path Forward for Taiwan.” Dr. Ting-Chi Liu, Associate Professor of Law at National Chengchi University, and Dr. Wolfgang Schulz, Director of the Hans-Bredow-Institut for Media Research and Professor of Law at the Universität Hamburg, discussed the legal approaches in Taiwan and Germany to dealing with misinformation and shared their insights on this important matter. Special guests that attended the event were legislators Karen Yu and Lee-Li Feng.

Opening the session at the Chamber’s Lincoln Room on February 21, Liu explained the status of freedom of expression in Taiwan and platform liability under proposed draft legislation. He noted the three elements of punishable misinformation according to the Executive Yuan: 1) malice; 2) falsity; and 3) harm.

Schulz gave examples of incidents that led to the German NetzDG (Network Enforcement Act). He explained the regulatory concept behind the law and its importance, as many big players in the tech industry with operations in Germany have recently been affected by NetzDG.

As Taiwan will likely continue to refer to NetzDG in the near future, Schulz highlighted some of the criticisms of the law made by academics and industry experts:

  • Difficulty defining the scope of “Big Social Media Networks”
  • Creation of incentives for overblocking, as take-down is the easiest option for platform providers
  • Lack of technical means for taking the proper context into account
  • Impact on free speech as companies will try to avoid fines

What will be the best approach for the handling of misinformation in Taiwan? Perhaps a 360-degree approach for a more open communication among the authorities, private sector, and the public could strike a good balance between self-regulation and regulation. The event ended with a panel discussion moderated by Jo-Fan Yu, Partner at Baker & McKenzie. Joining the discussion were Dr. Ting-Chi Liu, Dr. Wolfgang Schulz, and legislators Karen Yu and Lee Li-Feng.

 

 

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Note: AmCham events are intended primarily for AmCham members and their guests. Many events are open to members’ guests and other non-members, but the attendance of any non-member must be approved in advance. AmCham reserves the right not to admit a non-member to any event without explanation.

Micron Hosts AmCham Taipei Field Trip

A group of 24 AmCham Taipei members and Chamber staff took part in a field trip to the Taoyuan plant of Micron Technology on February 15. They heard an excellent briefing from Lin Kiat Yap, Chairman of Micron Technology Taiwan and Vice President of the Boise-Idaho based parent company, about the memory industry and Micron’s leading role in it. Then the visitors donned masks and “bunny suits” to tour the largest cleanroom (20,000 square meters) in the facility.

In his briefing, Yap outlined Micron’s growth from a four-partner startup in the basement of a dental clinic in Boise in 1978 to its position today as the world’s third largest memory company, with annual revenue of more than US$30 billion. The company has 34,000 employees worldwide and holds more than 40,000 patents.

Micron has the distinction of being the largest foreign investor in Taiwan. Besides the plant in Taoyuan’s Guishan, it also has facilities in the Central Taiwan Science Park in Taichung. The company has established a Center of Excellence in Taiwan to troubleshoot any production problems found in Micron plants around the world and devise solutions.

Interested in attending our events? Join us at other upcoming events, click here.

Note: AmCham events are intended primarily for AmCham members and their guests. Many events are open to members’ guests and other non-members, but the attendance of any non-member must be approved in advance. AmCham reserves the right not to admit a non-member to any event without explanation.

AmCham Holiday Dinner Features a Visit from Santa

Santa Claus took time off from Christmas preparations at his North Pole workshop to drop in – to the delight of the many children attending – on AmCham Taipei’s Holiday Dinner on December 14 at the Sherwood Taipei.

The event, the first of its kind for the Chamber, was a resounding success, with more than 70 members and guests attending.

View the full photo gallery here.

The buffet dinner featured carved roast turkey and other dishes from the Sherwood kitchen, including an assortment of child-friendly choices. Besides meeting Santa to tell him their Christmas wishes, the kids also flocked to the gingerbread cookie station, where they could make their own decorations on the cookies with icing.

Everyone received a gift bag of Aunt Stella cookies and complementary passes to the Taipei Dangdai Art & Ideas Exhibition in January.

AmCham expresses its thanks to Corporate Sponsors Corning Display Technologies, SEMI Taiwan, and Versum Materials, as well as Raffle Prize Sponsors Aunt Stella, Hilton Taipei Sinban, and The Sherwood Taipei.

Interested in attending our events? Join us at other upcoming events, click here.

Note: AmCham events are intended primarily for AmCham members and their guests. Many events are open to members’ guests and other non-members, but the attendance of any non-member must be approved in advance. AmCham reserves the right not to admit a non-member to any event without explanation. 

New Board Members Elected at 2018 AGM

Five candidates were elected to a two-year term on the Board of Governors, and three to a one-year term as Supervisors, at the AmCham Taipei’s 2018 Annual General Meeting at the Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza hotel on November 20. About 170 AmCham members and guests attended the luncheon meeting.

The newly elected Governors to serve in 2019-2020 are:

  • Al Chang of Deloitte & Touche
  • Albert Chang of McKinsey & Co.
  • Seraphim Ma of Baker & McKenzie
  • Jan-Hendrik Meidinger of the Grand Hyatt Taipei
  • Paulus Mok of Citibank Taiwan

The 2019 Supervisors will be:

  • Vincent Shih of Microsoft Taiwan
  • Terry Tsao of SEMI Taiwan
  • Dylan Tyson of Prudential Life Insurance

The in-line candidates for Governor are Leo Seewald of BlackRock Investment, Petra Jumpers of Eli Lilley & Co., and Joyce Lee of Amgen Taiwan, while Carl Wegner of R3 is the alternate candidate for Supervisor.

At the start of the meeting, AmCham Chairman Albert Chang outlined some of the Chamber’s outstanding achievements during the past year. These included record levels of success in resolving White Paper issues, a revamped Business Climate Survey, and the speech by Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Alex Wong at the Hsieh Nien Fan banquet, generating extensive domestic and international media coverage.

The guest speaker at the luncheon, Director Brent Christensen of the American Institute in Taiwan, called attention to the numerous areas of close cooperation between the United States and Taiwan, including:

  • The Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF), a partnership to demonstrate and share Taiwan’s strengths and expertise with other countries, which has held numerous exchanges and workshops on a wide variety of subjects.
  • The U.S. granting of visa waiver to Taiwan, plus its own Global Entry program, which has enabled the volume of two-way travel to surpass one million people a year.
  • The growing interest by Taiwanese companies in investing in the United States, as shown by Taiwan having the largest single delegation at the SelectUSA summit this year.
  • The U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy, which is opening increased opportunities for cooperation in such areas as infrastructure, energy, and the digital economy, in sync with the Taiwan government’s New Southbound Policy and 5+2 Innovative Industry program.

Christensen also referred to Vice President Mike Pence’s October 4 speech on U.S. China policy which praised Taiwan as a model for democratic development for the Chinese people. The AIT Director cited three areas where Taiwan is well-positioned to demonstrate a leadership role as a responsible member of the international community:

  • Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection. Taiwan has made great improvements in this area, and IPR cooperation has now become a hallmark of the bilateral relationship, he said.
  • Regulatory transparency. Whereas Taiwan had a relatively opaque rules-making regime just a few years ago, it has since become a model by adopting a 60-day notice and comment period, enabling stakeholders to participate in the process.
  • Science-based regulation. It should be standard practice to base regulatory decisions on scientific evidence.

View the full photo gallery here.

Bringing Hawaii to Taipei: The 2018 American Ball

“Aloha Hawaii” was the theme of the dazzling 2018 American Ball, co-organized by AmCham Taipei and the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). On the evening of November 3, AmCham members and their guests entered the beautifully decorated (thanks to the Feng Ze Design Center) Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Taipei and immediately imagined themselves transported to America’s favorite vacation spot.

After a cocktail reception featuring a welcome drink of Robert Mondavi Winery’s Woodbridge Sparkling Brut courtesy of Sergio Valente, Master of Ceremonies Ed Shober opened the festivities. AmCham Chairman Albert Chang and President Bill Foreman, accompanied by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Deputy Director Ray Greene, then greeted the attendees on behalf of the host organizations.

View the full photo gallery here.

Showing its usual creativity, the Grand Hyatt served a gourmet five-course meal that featured a cucumber red quinoa salad with Ahi poke and young corn, pumpkin chowder, cucumber granite passionfruit jelly, roasted U.S. beef tenderloin, and dessert of a chocolate sphere with coconut cream and fresh pineapple. The dinner was accompanied by Robert Mondavi Winery Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay (from Sergio Valente) and Johnnie Walker Double Black (from Diageo). “Blue Hawaii” and other cocktails were available at the bar.

Before and during dinner, the ball-goers enjoyed spirited Hawaii-inspired entertainment routines devised by the VMJ dance group. Once the music started – provided by talented Sherwyne Pereira and his band, as well as DJ Rick Kraft – the dance floor was packed for the rest of the evening with gyrating, enthusiastic revelers.

The event was made possible by the generosity of a number of sponsoring companies. These included Grand Prize Sponsor United Airlines; Wine & Liquor Sponsors Diageo and Sergio Valente; Gold Sponsors Amgen, Grand Hyatt Taipei, HSBC, Taiwan Sotheby’s, and Versum Materials; Décor Sponsor Standard Chartered Bank; Silver Sponsors BlackRock, Corning, Invisalign, and Prospect Hospitality Co. Ltd. (McDonald’s Restaurants); and General Sponsor The Tobacco Institute of the Republic of China (TIROC), with a special thanks to the Primasia Conference & Business Center (PCBC).

Attractive raffle prizes added to the excitement of the evening. The grand prize, by United Airlines, was two round-trip business-class tickets to any destination in the United States. The second prize was four nights’ stay for two at either the Club Med Kani (Maldives) or Club Med Sahoro (Japan). Other gift sponsors were the Grand Hyatt Taipei, eslite hotel, Ever Rich D.F.S. Corp., Hawaii Island Real Estate/Clark Realty Hilo, Hotel Eclat Taipei, Howard Plaza, Landis Taipei, Mandarin Oriental Taipei, Mellow Fields Taipei, Palais de Chine, Procter & Gamble, Regent Taipei, Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel, Sherwood Taipei, Westin Tashee Resort Taoyuan, and W Taipei.