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Taiwan's success


Outofin

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I have read this interesting article too. Thanks for posting it. It clearly shows how a shooting war will result in a lose-lose situation for both sides across the Strait, and deliver a blow to the global digital economy.

No one knows for sure how much of China's exports in information and communications hardware are made in Taiwanese-owned factories, but the estimates run from 40% to 80%. As many as 1 million Taiwanese live and work on the mainland. "All the manufacturing capacity in China is overlaid with the management and marketing expertise of the Taiwanese, along with all their contacts in the world,"....

I'm not sure how accurate the last sentence is.

Barely a decade ago, Taiwan made components or assembled machines designed elsewhere, and was only a marginal player in more lucrative segments of the electronics industry. Today its companies are increasingly proficient at original design, and dominate manufacturing in key categories. In LCD screens the Taiwanese have passed the Japanese and rival the Koreans. Taiwan is tops in routers, notebook computers, and cable modems.

Now Taiwanese management talent provides the innovation and originality for their mainland tech facilities, while the mainland has the production abilities.

Part of the Taiwanese edge in research and development is attributed to Taiwan's ITRI teaming up with top notch research universities like UC Berkeley and MIT. http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2004/06/01_itri.shtml

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Could you tell me if the Taiwanese who studied abroad and returned play important roles in the companies?

I feel Taiwanese students in the US try to stay here, just like mainland students. Did many of them go back to serve in Taiwanese companies? If so, what made them go back? If not, why do the companies have so many good engineers?

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Could you tell me if the Taiwanese who studied abroad and returned play important roles in the companies?

I don't know of any specific names, but take a look at this article. It seems that 新竹, which the Taiwanese government has tried to make into its own Silicon Valley, has been somewhat successful in attracting returnees. People are returning little by little to China, too.

http://research.microsoft.com/asia/news/displayArticle.aspx?id=1006

从北京到香港、台北看中国信息产业的未来

—— 微软亚洲研究院第二任院长张亚勤

相比较而言,台湾地区计算机学术机构的总体水平要高一些,这与台湾发展相对成熟的信息和集成电路产业有着密切关系。台湾在IC工业设计、工艺等研发方面有许多经验值得中国大陆学术界和全世界学术人士学习和借鉴。台湾在计算机硬件技术、特别是在半导体技术的研发方面,拥有一批世界一流的人才、生产线和企业,这也是新竹工业园对台湾最大的贡献。以半导体材料的包装为例,过去这个行业在美国基本挣不到钱,只好放到台湾去,然而台湾人却在半导体材料的包装方面取得了举世瞩目的成就。过去在美国包装一个单晶片,体积会扩大30%。台湾地区的科研人员不断对该项技术进行创新、研究和试验,使其下降到20%、 10%、5%,现在,甚至能够在不增加任何体积的情形下进行高质量的包装。这是多么大的科技进步!这充分体现了台湾半导体工业科研人员精益求精、一丝不苟的专业精神,也成就了台湾在全球信息产业中十分瞩目的地位。

相比较而言,中国大陆在计算机科学研究方面涉足的领域十分广泛,研究人员也非常多。但因为是在一个范围极大的领域展开“全面攻势”,有限的资金和人力不能有效集中,所以很难产生世界级的科研成果。虽然这里有一大批全世界最聪明的人才,但他们的才能不能被充分利用,他们的潜力不能被完全发掘。一些科研人才不甘现状,转而加入在美国和日本等发达国家的实验室和研究院。在那里,他们一反在国内的默默无闻,做出了了不起的成绩。有一点我们必须认识到,如果我们永远是在每一个领域都表现一般,通过很有限但应用范围却很广的研究资金去寻求“大而全”, 就很难实现成为世界科技大国的理想。

从科技人员后备力量上看,中国大陆的学生更富有创新精神,勇于冒险,并且数学基础良好。这是中国信息产业的希望所在。

中国信息产业的未来

台湾信息产业的发展始于八十年代末九十年代初。那时,我已经在美国定居下来。一天,一位十分要好的朋友非常兴奋地告诉我他就要回台湾去做教授了,因为他已经在麻省理工学院获得了电子工程及计算机科学专业的博士学位,而他本人的学术背景也相当不错,我原以为他至少是在台大、清华或交大做教授,谁知一问才知道他是去了一个当时根本名不见经传的大学做助理教授。他还告诉我说,如果想回台湾,这已经算是很不错的归宿了,因为那边的竞争非常激烈。当时,这番话令我很吃惊,现在看来,这是大势所趋。从八十年代中期开始,许多从台湾出来,在美国学术界卓有成就的人士就开始大批返回台湾工作,使得台湾各个层次的大学里拥有了一批从哈佛、麻省理工、斯坦福等著名大学毕业并卓有成就的台湾留学人员。此后,一批在Intel、Microsoft、IBM、Digital等美国著名大企业工作的人士开始回台湾创业,台湾的信息产业做好了腾飞前的准备。

今天,活跃在台湾校园和学术界的许多教授和学者都是海外学成归来的。他们中的相当一部分已有很高的学术造诣。以电子工程领域为例,单是美国电气和电子工程师学会(IEEE)的院士我此次就碰到多位,而且其中大部分我很早就认识,有的甚至是非常亲近的老朋友。此次台湾之行的很多学术交流活动其实就是这些朋友们帮助安排的。

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Could you tell me if the Taiwanese who studied abroad and returned play important roles in the companies?

I feel Taiwanese students in the US try to stay here' date=' just like mainland students. Did many of them go back to serve in Taiwanese companies? If so, what made them go back? If not, why do the companies have so many good engineers?[/quote']

One reason why many Taiwanese men may not want to go back is to avoid serving in the army. The reason may not be that they want to live in the US per se.

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I noticed that Taiwanese kids have a strong work ethic here in the States. This is a little off-topic from the tech issue, but as a frequent customer to a Taiwan-operated food and drink store, I noticed they are very hard-working and operate in a camaraderie, light-hearted team-working environment behind the drink counter. They have good manners too and are very courteous to customers. Everything I walk in the store, more than one employee says "歡迎光臨!" in an upbeat way.

Another food and drink store that I visit has employees who all came to the States directly from the mainland. They are equally hard-working and treat customers just as politely as their Taiwanese counterparts. The difference is that they tend to be more serious and reserved than their Taiwanese counterparts.

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I feel China is not ready for returnees (so-called "sea turtle") yet. I talked to many friends and they all held the same opinion, "If you come back to open a company, welcom and do it quick. If you're looking for a job here, for your own good, don't." One friend said, "I can easily hire two people for 2000/mo. Why should I hire one person for 4000/mo?" He's the head of a branch of a trade company. The answer is obvious: because the 2 people can't do what the one person does.

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One friend said, "I can easily hire two people for 2000/mo. Why should I hire one person for 4000/mo?" He's the head of a branch of a trade company. The answer is obvious: because the 2 people can't do what the one person does.

Except that for 2000/mo, you can live like a king (or queen) in China, whereas you can barely scrape by with 4000/mo in the more tech-oriented parts of the United States (assuming we're talking about US$).

It also takes times to develop contacts and trust. It may be easier to do that in your 30s than in your 40s. Plus, once you have a spouse and/or kids abroad, it may be much more difficult for you to go back, even if you wanted to. It's true that there are many who don't want to go back because they think they've already gotten used to the West and may not like the reverse cultural shock if they return.

What did your friends say about the working environment, other than salary?

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What did your friends say about the working environment, other than salary?

I don't really know. We didn't talk on this very seriously. They work hard, definetly for more than 8 hours a day. I talked with a friend who's a manager in a software company. Their management couldn't be compared with Amrican companies. I suppose a manager should be able to tell what each of his team member is doing. But he couldn't.

Although the economy is booming, the salary is not. Surprisingly, many of them have a car and some of them have a flat. (Note I'm talking about those who live in Beijing and have a decent diploma.) In general, I feel life is not easy there. And that's why people are so eager to make money. I think it's the unparalleled desire that makes China such a fierce competitor.

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Although the economy is booming, the salary is not. Surprisingly, many of them have a car and some of them have a flat. (Note I'm talking about those who live in Beijing and have a decent diploma.) In general, I feel life is not easy there. And that's why people are so eager to make money.

When I was last there, I felt that most people were pretty nervous about falling behind economically, though objectively speaking, they're doing pretty. The problem seems to be that wealth is subjective, as well as objective. Even if you're able to keep your standard of living the same, if all your neighbors become richer, you'll feel poorer.

Most people have to work pretty hard to keep your position in the upper income bracket. The economy is changing too fast for most people to be comfortable with what they have. The only sure thing seems to be real estate, at least for the last few years, though that racket might not last too much longer.

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