Fri, Nov 09, 2012 - Page 4 News List

Decrease in Taiwanese start-ups in US: report

By William Lowther  /  Staff reporter in WASHINGTON

There has been a dramatic drop in the number of Taiwanese immigrants starting companies in the US.

A Kauffman Foundation report on immigrant entrepreneurship has found that in the last seven years Taiwan has dropped from fourth to 22nd in the entrepreneur list.

“This translates to a decrease in the proportion of Taiwanese-founded startups from 5.8 percent to 1.1 percent,” Samantha Huang, a researcher at Stanford Law School told Forbes magazine.

The decline in Taiwanese entrepreneurship is a cause for concern, she said, because Taiwanese immigrants have historically played such an integral role in the development of the US tech industry.

Co-founder of the Silicon Valley venture capital firm TransLink Capital Jackie Yang said that many Taiwanese are “simply staying home.”

“Because of increased local education and employment opportunities, Taiwan has been better able to retain its highy skilled workers,” he said.

At the same time, Taiwanese students are more likely than ever before to return home after being awarded degrees at US universities.

Over the last decade, the number of employment-based green cards awarded to Taiwanese immigrants has dropped by about 800 a year.

Many Taiwanese entrepreneurs are not just returning home, an increasing number of them are moving to China, Huang said.

China has become the “optimal place” to start a business because of lower startup costs and because Taiwanese immigrants have greater “cultural and linguistic” mobility there, she said.

“For certain sectors, China has also become a more attractive market,” she said.

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