E-commerce site Taobao Taiwan (淘寶台灣) yesterday announced that it would leave the Taiwanese market at the end of this year, after being told by the Investment Commission to register as a Chinese entity.
It made the “tough decision” to leave Taiwan, effective Jan. 1 next year, due to “market uncertainties” and was in talks with its employees over a redundancy scheme, the company said in a statement.
It would also help sellers on its site complete their outstanding deals to protect their rights and those of the buyers, it said.
The company said that it had decided to stop taking new orders before noon yesterday ahead of going offline on Dec. 31, and had also closed down some other functions on its Web site, which was launched in September last year.
The Investment Commission on Aug. 24 declared the site’s operator — UK-registered Claddagh Venture Investment Ltd — to be a Chinese investment and ordered Claddagh to rectify the issue within six months or withdraw its investment.
It also fined Claddagh NT$410,000 for contravening the law on Chinese investments.
A company is deemed to have Chinese investment if more than 30 percent of its shares are held by a Chinese entity or if it is in effect controlled by a Chinese entity, and the commission found that China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴), which operates the Taobao e-commerce site in China, held a 28.77 percent stake in Claddagh.
Although that amount is under the legal limit, the commission decided that the company was effectively controlled by Alibaba, based on a number of factors, including that Claddagh could not hold shareholder or board meetings without the consent of Alibaba, due to the size of the stake held by the Chinese firm, and that Claddagh relied heavily on Alibaba to run Taobao Taiwan.
Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Chuan-neng (林全能) said that Taobao Taiwan had broken the law concerning Chinese investment and the commission’s decision to fine Claddagh followed regulations.
Executive Yuan spokesman Ting Yi-ming (丁怡銘) said that the government would not allow Chinese companies that want to enter the Taiwanese market to use indirect methods to bypass the law and it has stepped up its investigations into suspect operations.
Additional reporting by AFP
TAKES THE CAKE: Chinese diplomats tried to take photographs of people attending a National Day event in Suva, before reportedly assaulting a Taiwanese diplomat The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday condemned the Chinese embassy in Fiji over a fracas at its Double Ten National Day event at a Suva hotel, while a lawmaker demanded that the ministry file a lawsuit against Chinese embassy personnel for injuring a Taiwanese diplomat at the event. The Grubsheet news blog on Sunday and New Zealand-based Asia-Pacific Report Web site yesterday reported that two members of the Chinese embassy in Suva tried to force their way into a celebration held by the Taipei Trade Office in Fiji at the Grand Pacific Hotel on Oct. 8 to take photographs of
TAIPEI REACTIONS: Joanne Ou decried China’s ‘gangster diplomacy,’ while MOFA said its Fiji counterpart dealt fairly with the incident and protected the trade office’s rights The world should denounce the actions of Chinese embassy staffers in Fiji against a Taiwanese diplomat during a National Day celebration in Suva, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday as it thanked the Fijian government for its help after the Oct. 8 incident. Two Chinese diplomats tried to force their way into a celebration held by the Taipei Trade Office in Fiji at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva on Oct. 8, and a Taiwanese diplomat who tried to stop them taking photographs suffered a head injury. MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news briefing that the ministry
The US, Japan and Australia conducted trilateral naval exercises in the South China Sea on Monday, the US Seventh Fleet announced yesterday. It was their fifth joint operations this year in the fleet’s area of operations, it said in a statement. The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain joined the JS Kirisame of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Arunta. The Arunta’s commanding officer, Commander Troy Duggan, said that Australia was continuing to build on its already close relationship with Japan and the US. “This activity is a valuable and important opportunity for all three nations,”
UPS AND DOWNS: The institute’s annual Asia Power Index says that Taiwan this year has seen one of the biggest gains in diplomatic influences The US remains the top power in the Indo-Pacific, but has suffered the biggest relative fall in its standing in the region over the past year, partly because of the loss of prestige over the mishandling of COVID-19, the Lowy Institute’s Asia Power Index shows. Releasing the latest annual results yesterday, the Australia-based foreign policy think tank said while China’s standing had stalled, it remained in second place and was believed to be on track to match the US by the end of this decade. Australia was one of the few countries to gain in the scores of comprehensive power this year,