Fares hike gets green light
Tickets on the nation’s high-speed railway will be up to 9.6 percent more expensive in October after the Ministry of Transportation and Communications on Thursday approved a plan by the rail line’s operator to increase its fares. Under the price increase that will take effect on Oct. 1, a standard one-way ticket from Taipei to Zuoying Station in Greater Kaohsiung will cost NT$1,630, an increase of NT$140. The price increase will be the first since the high-speed rail began commercial operations in 2007, the ministry said. Fares were to have been increased in 2009, but the plan was shelved because the nation’s economy was still suffering the effects of the global financial crisis. The ministry asked the operator, Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp, to take the sting out of the fare increases by offering several discounts, including for frequent, off-peak or low-income travelers.
Chinese firm poached talent
A Taiwanese man is facing an investigation for bypassing regulations on Chinese investments to help his Chinese employer lure local professionals in the panel industry, the Investigation Bureau said. The man, identified only by his surname, Chen (陳), was a manager at Chimei Innolux Corp, before being hired by a Chinese company to set up panel maker CSOT Corp in Shenzhen in 2009. Chen violated the Act Governing Relations Between the Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (台灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) by bypassing government approval and setting up a CSOT office in Greater Tainan as a front for poaching talent from local firms, including AU Optronics Corp and Innolux Corp. The act bars Chinese firms from carrying out any business activities in Taiwan without approval from the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Investment Commission.
App guru to speak at forum
Tommy Palm, the guru
behind the popular game app Candy Crush Saga, will speak at an annual digital content forum in Taipei next month, the organizers said yesterday. Digital Taipei, now in its fifth year, will start on Sept. 16 and will have the theme of “Mobile-first Chances Unlimited,” the Taipei Computer Association said in a statement. The association, in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, has invited industry heavyweights and experts to speak at the forum. Palm, dubbed the “Games Guru” at the social games company King.com, will share the story of his app Candy Crush Saga, which now has over 45 million monthly active users worldwide. The two-day event will be held on Sept. 16 and Sept. 17 at the Taipei International Convention Center, the organizers said.
Yunlin launches rural project
Yunlin County is putting the spotlight on quality of living in rural communities with a workshop that started earlier this week. The workshop, which focuses on rural housing design, has brought 100 students from Japan, China and Taiwan together in the southern county. They are scheduled to spend two weeks visiting the county and after conducting field research, the students will propose new plans for rural communities, the county government’s Planning Department said. The fruits of the workshop will be on display at the Yunlin Agricultural Exposition slated to run from Dec. 25 to March 6 next year, an event that will focus on development and social transformation in rural areas. A number of notable architects and other professionals are also taking part in the workshop and will draw on their experiences in urban and rural development projects, the county government said.