The Rundown: China Job Ads, ETF Sandbox Trial, and LINE’s New Office

A weekly snapshot of Taiwan business news stories brought to you by CommonWealth and AmCham Taiwan’s TOPICS

New measures seek to combat China’s talent poaching

China has been targeting Taiwanese semiconductor talent in an effort to fuel its domestic chipmaking capabilities. In response, the Executive Yuan in April formed a task force to establish measures to combat Chinese talent poaching and in early May, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) ordered that Taiwanese job bank websites remove all listings for jobs located in China.

In a letter banning Taiwanese manpower agencies from posting Chinese recruitment ads and acting as an intermediary for Chinese employers, the MOL cited Articles 34 and 35 of the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. Those articles prohibit certain kinds of advertising and investment or technological cooperation. The MOL stated that non-compliance would result in fines of ranging from NT$100,000 to NT$500,000 for illegal advertisements and NT$50,000 to NT$5 million for intermediary affiliations.

The MOL letter also explicitly prohibited manpower agencies and headhunters from assisting any businesses seeking to move Taiwanese employees to China. Violators in key industries such as integrated circuit and semiconductor manufacturing will face additional punishment, according to the ministry.

Chen Shih-chang, who heads the Workforce Development Agency’s Employment Services Division, said that other than Ministry of Economic Affairs-authorized businesses, all violators of the job advertisement ban are subject to penalties. Chen added that company websites are also barred from advertising job vacancies in China but said that regulations regarding job ads on Facebook require further clarification.   

According to news sources, China-based job postings decreased from 3,774 to around 1,000 on 104 Job Bank, a popular online recruitment platform in Taiwan. All 200 China-related job vacancies on Yes123, another Taiwanese online job bank, have also been removed.

SinoPac and Alpha to begin ETF sandbox trial

SinoPac Securities announced in May that it would begin cooperating with Taiwanese fintech company Alpha Fintech on a Financial Supervisory Commission-approved sandbox experiment. The experiment will allow the Taiwanese public to purchase a minimum of US$100 worth of shares in foreign exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Alpha Fintech, founded in 2007, is a robo-advisor startup that provides automated, algorithm-driven investment services. Alpha Fintech Chairman James Chen said that currently, Taiwanese investors are limited to buying whole shares of foreign ETFs, which are unprofitable and unaffordable for the average middle-class citizen. The company’s experiment will permit individual investors to make fixed-term, fixed-amount investments in foreign ETFs.

To minimize risk, the total investment volume for the experiment is capped at NT$200 million and the amount of participants will be in the thousands. Further assessment will be required in determining whether to expand the scope of the experiment.

With opening of new office, LINE looks to expand recruitment

LINE Taiwan Chairman and General Manager Roger Chen announced on May 5 the opening of the company’s new office in Taipei’s Neihu district. It is LINE’s largest workspace outside of its headquarters in Japan. The new space is also the first LINE office in the world equipped with facial recognition security technology powered by CLOVA, the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) platform. LINE estimates that the office will create hundreds of job opportunities in 20 different technical fields this year.

Chen said that LINE Taiwan currently employs 900 staff and is planning on actively recruiting up to 100 additional engineers, clerks, and managers. The company recently announced that the LINE Developers Recruitment Day will be hosted on May 22 and invited outstanding research and development engineers to participate. In addition, LINE will for the first time recruit local, Mandarin-speaking AI engineers to develop its CLOVA technologies.  

The company also outlined the four areas it seeks to develop this year, including e-commerce, local vertical markets, fintech, and public services, and pledged to boost investment in AI development. 

This edition was translated from the original Chinese by Jason Wu.