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Ex-Taichung Mayor Jason Hu 'to work for' Want Want China Times

2015/01/14 22:07:44

Jason Hu. CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 14 (CNA) Former Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) on Wednesday announced that he will "work for" the Want Want China Times Group beginning Feb. 1, though he did not specify what his job title will be at the media arm of the snack foods conglomerate.

Hu, a vice chairman of the Kuomintang and mayor of the central city from 2001 until he lost the race for reelection in Nov. 2014, made the statement on his personal Facebook page.

The announcement is expected to draw wide attention due to Hu's prominence in the ruling party and the editorial stance of the China Times newspaper and its affiliates, widely considered to be pro-China, where it makes a fortune off its snack foods business.

Hu wrote that he has mulled over how to continue serving Taiwan after losing reelection in the Taichung mayoral race late last year.

"At the urging of many, I've considered seeking another elected office or returning to the central government," said the 66-year-old, who was foreign minister from 1997 to 1999. "However, I have since ruled out both paths."

Hu said that he was "moved by a sincere invitation" by Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明), the controversial chairman of Want Want China Holdings, last December.

According to Forbes, as of June 2014, Tsai is Taiwan's richest man with a net worth of US$9.6 billion.

Hu said that Tsai hopes that by working together, they can wield the media's influence to improve the lives of Taiwan citizens.

He said he has witnessed many momentous changes in Taiwan's media landscape during his three decades in government, in particular during his tenure as the head of the Executive Yuan's Government Information Office from 1991 to 1996.

Saying he may well be "the first person to jump straight into the media industry after leaving politics," he expressed hopes of bringing higher standards of corporate social responsibility to the media sector so that it may better serve the needs of society.

Despite plans to relocate to Taipei for his new job, Hu said his heart remains in Taichung, and said that he still hopes to teach at local universities on a part-time basis.

The Want Want China Times Group encompasses China Television Co., CTI Television Inc., and the daily newspaper China Times.

(By Hau Hsueh-chin and Ted Chen)