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Wealth of Taiwan's 50 Richest on Forbes List Soars amid Pandemic
Taipei 101 tower in Taiwan
Editor's Note: While the pandemic disrupted lives and economies around the world, Taiwan remained largely unscathed. Swift prevention measures to tackle the coronavirus resulted in just over 1,100 cases and 12 deaths, amid a population of 24 million. Taiwan had one of Asia’s top-performing economies, growing 3% in 2020, thanks to booming tech exports and increased domestic demand. The benchmark Taiex index rose 45% since fortunes were last measured 15 months ago, lifting the collective net worth of Taiwan’s richest by a third to $149 billion. This year saw the emergence of a new No. 1: Low profile Zhang Congyuan, founder of shoe manufacturer Huali Industrial Group, who shares the fortune with his family, debuted on the list with $13.8 billion, after the company’s hugely successful listing in Shenzhen.

SINGAPORE (May 6, 2021) — While the pandemic disrupted lives and economies around the world, Taiwan remained largely unscathed. Thanks to booming tech exports and increased domestic demand, Taiwan had one of Asia’s top-performing economies, growing 3% in 2020. The benchmark Taiex index rose 45% since fortunes were last measured 15 months ago, lifting the collective net worth of Taiwan’s 50 richest by a third to US$149 billion. Overall, 36 listees added to their wealth. The complete 2021 Forbes Taiwan Rich List can be found at www.forbes.com/taiwan.

On the back of a successful IPO in April, Zhang Congyuan, founder of shoe manufacturer Huali Industrial Group, who shares the fortune with his family, made an impressive debut at No. 1 with a net worth of $13.8 billion. Zhang built Huali into a key supplier for global brands, including Nike, Puma, UGG and Vans.

Brothers Tsai Hong-tu and Cheng-ta of Cathay Financial Holding retained their No. 2 position with a net worth of $9.2 billion. Daniel and Richard Tsai of Fubon Financial, another sibling pair, moved up two spots to the third place with $7.9 billion.

Some of the biggest gainers on this year’s list are tied to semiconductors. Tsai Ming-kai (No. 13, $3.3 billion), chairman of chipmaker MediaTek and the company’s former vice chairman, Cho Jyh-jer (No. 35, $ 1.56 billion) both saw their net worth rise by more than 150%, thanks to a surge in global demand for smartphone chips. Brothers Jason and Richard Chang (No. 5, $7.2 billion) of ASE Technology, a provider of semiconductor testing and packaging services, were the biggest dollar gainers with a $2.6 billion boost that propelled their net worth to $7.2 billion.

Morris Chang (No. 15) saw his wealth jump 87% to $2.8 billion, as his Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Apple’s main chipmaker, benefited from the much-anticipated launch of iPhone 12. Bruce Cheng (No. 20, $2.42 billion) of Delta Electronics more than doubled his net worth as shares in his company, a maker of power components for Tesla, jumped amid the booming electric vehicle market.

A spurt in demand from makers of e-vehicles was a boon for tycoons with interests in plastics. Siblings Tseng Cheng and Tseng Sing-ai of petrochemicals-and-plastics giant Chang Chun group, who are listed jointly for the first time, came in at No. 17 with a combined fortune of $2.65 billion. Quintin Wu of USI and Asia Polymer, which make plastic resins, debuted at No. 47 with $840 million.

Among the nine listees whose fortunes declined were Tony Chen (No. 33, $1.6 billion) and Scott Lin (No. 24, $2.05 billion), cofounders of Largan Precision, who took a hit as shares in their lens maker tumbled due to US sanctions against Huawei Technologies, a major customer. Wu Li-gann (No. 44, $1 billion) was down 27% as his Shenzhen-listed WUS Printed Circuit, which makes electronic car components, suffered amid a general slump in the auto industry.

Huang Chung Sheng of Yechiu Metal Recycling returned to the list at No. 49 with $810 million. Three dropped off the list altogether: Chen Wu-kang of cosmetics firm Chlitina, and real estate magnates Tsai Tien-tsan and Lin Chang Su-O. The minimum amount required to make the list was $740 million, up from $590 million last year.

The top 10 richest in Taiwan are:

1) Zhang Congyuan & Family; US$13.8 billion
2) Tsai Hong-tu & Cheng-ta; $9.2 billion
3) Daniel & Richard Tsai ; $7.9 billion
4) Wei Ing-chou, Ying-chiao, Yin-chun & Yin-heng; $7.8 billion
5) Jason & Richard Chang; $7.2 billion
6) Terry Gou; $7.1 billion
7) Tsai Eng-meng; $6.1 billion
8) Barry Lam; $5.8 billion
9) Pierre Chen; $5 billion
10) Lin Shu-hong; $4.8 billion

The list was compiled using information from the individuals, stock exchanges, analysts, private databases, official agencies and other sources. Net worth numbers are based on stock prices and exchange rates as of the close of markets on April 27. Private companies were valued by using financial ratios and other comparisons with similar, publicly traded companies. The estimates include a spouse's wealth and, if the person is the company founder, the wealth of sons and daughters that is derived from that company. The list can have those who are included due primarily to extensive business and residential ties to Taiwan. In cases in which the fortunes of family members are based on the same company, they are combined into one listing, as long as each of them has enough wealth to qualify for the list on their own.

About Forbes

Forbes champions success by celebrating those who have made it, and those who aspire to make it. Forbes convenes and curates the most-influential leaders and entrepreneurs who are driving change, transforming business and making a significant impact on the world. The Forbes brand today reaches more than 140 million people worldwide every month through its trusted journalism, signature LIVE and Forbes Virtual events, custom marketing programs and 32 licensed local editions in 71 countries. Forbes Media’s brand extensions include real estate, education and financial services license agreements. For more information, visit the Forbes News Hub or Forbes Connect.

For media queries, please contact:
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Catherine Ong
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cath@catherineong.com
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