Taiwanese managers are not essential for firms in China: poll


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Almost two-thirds of Taiwanese companies plan to expand their presence in China to cash in on growing local demand, but many said they do not necessarily prefer Taiwanese white-collar workers for management positions, a local poll showed yesterday.

About 62 percent of local companies surveyed by 104 Job Bank, an online employment agency, saw China as a market rather than just a factory for their products or services, and 64.2 percent planned to increase their investments in China.

With only 14.5 percent of respondents regarding China solely as a production base, this showed a marked transition from a period in which Taiwanese electronics manufacturing companies invested heavily in setting up factories in China.

The transition also follows a recent promise by the Chinese government to boost local demand through its new five-year plan on national development from 2011.

While planning to expand their presence in China, 64.4 percent of the local companies polled also planned to boost their manpower there, in the fields of management (36.7 percent), sales (27.3 percent) and marketing (25.5 percent).

While he believes that Taiwanese white-collar workers have an advantage over Chinese competitors for management jobs, Max Fang, the agency’s public relations manager, acknowledged that 86 percent of companies said they do not necessarily prefer Taiwanese job seekers.

Half of the 86 percent do not consider nationality to be a concern as long as the company’s goals can be achieved, Fang said at a press briefing in Taipei.

Many China-based Taiwanese companies had previously reserved senior jobs for Taiwanese nationals due to a lack of trust in Chinese people and in their professionalism, he added, citing high turnover rate as another problem.

Kathy Chung, the director of Taiwan’s largest coffee-shop chain, 85℃ Bakery Cafe, told the press briefing that her company’s operations in China had promoted many Chinese employees to executive positions or hired Chinese executives from China-based international companies.