It’s officially called the Republic of China, though its enormous neighbor to the west, the People’s Republic of China, is angling to absorb the democratic island nation and make it one big not-so-democratic superpower. Welcome to Taiwan, a place with some of the world’s hardest workers, some amazing unsung scenery and some singing garbage trucks. It’s a welcoming, fascinating and safe place to travel, but wherever you roam, make sure not to point at the moon. A certain bodily extremity will thank you.
Taiwan is the 20th destination on our ’round-the-world video curation tour of work cultures in many nations. We invite you to join us, watch out for us on our social channels (#CultureCoordinates) and let us know what these videos get right-or don’t-about working in different countries.
There are a ton of taboos (No. 4! red ink!), but you can be forgiven for breaking them…
…don’t stand chopsticks up in your rice bowl, and drain that tiny shot glass
Fast Culture Facts for Taiwan
- 7 million, with a high population density of 649 people per square kilometer, making it the 17th most densely populated nation on Earth.
- Taiwan’s GDP was $589.4 billion in 2018, making it the world’s 21st largest economy. Services make up about 62% of Taiwan’s GDP, followed by industry – at 36%, and around 2% for agriculture. Taiwan has an export-dependent economy (it is a major exporter of electronic goods), and its economic health and outlook are generally good, due to its economic ties with mainland China, other Asian nations and the U.S.
- Although not included in the United Nation’s Gender Equality Index, Taiwan by some estimations ranks 8th in the world in gender equality. Women earn about 85% of what men earn for similar work. The vast majority of Taiwan’s population is Han Chinese, but the culture has a significant population of aboriginal people and has been influenced by its 50-year occupation by Japan from 1895-1945. Although homosexuality and gay marriage are legal in Taiwan, there are no LGBTQ protections for housing discrimination and employment laws only ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.
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