Facebook an 'important partner' in Taiwan's public health efforts: Tsai

12/03/2020 07:54 PM
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President Tsai Ing-wen. CNA file photo courtesy of the Presidential Office
President Tsai Ing-wen. CNA file photo courtesy of the Presidential Office

Taipei, Dec. 3 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Thursday that the American social media conglomerate Facebook Inc. has played an "important" role in Taiwan's epidemic prevention efforts, which has contributed to a stable domestic economy.

Speaking at the virtual launch of the Facebook Made by Taiwan 2020 program, Tsai noted that it has been five years since Facebook established headquarters in Taiwan.

During that time, Facebook has become an "important partner" of the government and an "indispensable part" of many people's lives, Tsai said.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic late last year, Facebook has "not only assisted the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) in providing accurate information to users, but also provided big data on population mobility to help Taiwan analyze its epidemic prevention strategies," she said.

Tsai said the American company's social media platforms have also helped promote Taiwan epidemic prevention model abroad and "let people all over the world know that 'Taiwan can help.'"

Domestically, the company has not only helped people keep in touch amid fewer face-to-face meetings, but it has also played a vital role in the digital economy, thereby contributing to Taiwan's economic stability, Tsai said,

The launch of Facebook Made by Taiwan 2020 is a follow-up to a talent cultivation initiative -- Made by Taiwan, Loved by the World -- launched by the company in 2016.

According to Facebook, the new program is an "investment" to assist with Taiwan's digital transformation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on the development of "new economies, new technologies and new talents."

Meanwhile, the American company said it plans to establish Facebook Shops and Instagram Shops, which will allow Taiwan retailers to sell their goods via online stores that can be set up free of charge.

In terms of technology, Facebook said, it is rolling out augmented reality (AR) advertisements that will offer "more creative and interactive" ways for businesses to reach potential customers.

The company said it also plans to hold workshops in Taiwan's six major cities, under its Instagram Academy program, to teach young entrepreneurs how to use the platform effectively.

(By Wu Chia-hao and Matthew Mazzetta)

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