Working Lives: Taiwan

WATCH: Jimmy Chen says Taiwan has to create more of its own brands to continue prospering

Jimmy Chen went to the US to study at age 18, graduated from MIT, got an MBA and worked in a bank until he realised it wasn't what he wanted, but what his parents wanted.

He quit his job, moved back to Taiwan and opened an internet start-up company with his friends to develop social networking software and platforms.

Most Taiwanese would opt for big, well-known firms in order to earn more money and reduce risks. In Taiwan, where schools and parents urge playing it safe for cultural and economic reasons, Mr Chen represents a new generation of people rebelling against the rules.

Taiwan has been able to transform itself from a fishing and agricultural economy in the 1960s and 70s, to the world's factory for consumer goods in the 80s, to a global high-tech powerhouse now making most of the world's laptops and other electronic gadgets.

Mr Chen is among a growing number of people who believe that even though Taiwan is very good at producing products for other countries' brands, it must build its own global brands to add value to its economy.

To do that, they believe Taiwanese people must be more innovative. He has started a club to encourage young software engineers to think out of the box and pursue their passions.

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