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Big high-tech firms hinder tech development in Taiwan: entrepreneur

2012/05/12 19:35:16

Taipei, May 12 (CNA) Established high-tech companies are hindering the technology sector's development by making it difficult for start-ups to recruit good engineers, said Wang Nien-tsu, an entrepreneur with an engineering background, on Saturday.

Many students who graduate from prestigious Taiwanese universities, such as National Taiwan University, National Chiao Tung University and National Tsing Hua University, prefer working as engineers for well-established companies like MediaTek Inc. because of the high compensation offered, Wang said at a national development forum.

These graduates can earn annual incomes of millions and even tens of millions of Taiwan dollars in their first year at big-name high-tech companies, he said.

But that doesn't mean that big technology companies are necessarily better options for talented people. They tend to waste talent by assigning engineers who graduated from top schools minor or redundant tasks, he contended.

"These companies are using 'thousand-league' horses as inferior slave horses," Wang said.

"Good engineers are trained by companies and not schools, and if smart people end up doing simple engineering tasks for five or six years, they will definitely turn into idiots," he said.

Wang also charged that these talented individuals were often not involved in research and development, because many Taiwanese technology companies purchase intellectual property from abroad.

Thus, the biggest obstacle to the development of Taiwan's technology sector are these highly profitable technology firms, and Wang, whose father was former Control Yuan President Wang Tso-jung, hoped the government would address the issue.

Taiwan Thinktank Chairman Chen Po-chih said the senior Wang observed some of these warning signs and explained in one of his essays why Taiwan's economy has been unable to advance to higher technological levels.

"While there are many reasons behind why Taiwan has been unableto develop into a capital and technology intensive economy, two main factors have been a lack of financial support and an inadequate education system," the former Control Yuan president wrote.

Financially, high-tech companies have scooped up the best talent by distributing stock options, leaving "top people even willing to work for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company as a janitor," Chen said, describing this as a problem with the financial system.

Moreover, Taiwan's exam-orientated education system has been unable to support the technology sector's need for innovative talent, Chen argued, saying that "few graduates from prestigious schools are creative."

If the education system were successful, people who graduate from less famous schools should show creativity, but that has not been the case, Chen said.

(By Lin Hui-chun and C.J. Lin)