The Investment Commission yesterday said it would open an administrative investigation into the source of funding of Singapore-based Shopee Taiwan Co Ltd (樂購蝦皮), one of the nation’s largest e-commerce operators, and whether Chinese capital is involved.
Investment Commission Executive Secretary Emile Chang’s (張銘斌) announcement of a probe followed a morning news release from Taiwanese attorney Yeh Kuang-chou (葉光洲), who said he had reported to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office regarding Shopee Taiwan’s alleged violations of regulations governing Chinese investments and forgery.
Shopee Taiwan claimed to be a subsidiary of Singapore-based Sea Ltd and was registered in Taiwan as a Singaporean company with paid-in capital of NT$5 million (US$165,793.50), Yeh said.
However, Shopee Taiwan should be registered as a Chinese firm and be reviewed by the commission because Tencent Holdings Ltd (騰訊), a Chinese company, holds a 39.7 percent stake in Sea, Yeh said, citing Sea’s initial public offering (IPO) prospectus released last month.
Any foreign company with more than 30 percent of Chinese capital should be registered as a Chinese company in Taiwan, Yeh said, citing the Measures Governing Investment Permit to the People of Mainland China Area (大陸地區人民來台投資許可辦法).
Sea’s two other local subsidiaries, Garena Taiwan (台灣競舞) and Aipei Taiwan (艾貝), should also be registered as Chinese firms, not Singaporean companies, the lawyer said.
Shopee Taiwan, Garena Taiwan and Aipei Taiwan appear to have intentionally hidden their investor structure and provided untrue information to the government, which would mean that their company registrations are acts of forgery, Yeh said.
Shopee Taiwan has denied Yeh’s allegations.
It said it did not forge official documents or violate regulations regarding Chinese investments.
“We have been abiding by Taiwan’s regulations and we are willing to explain our operations to relevant agencies,” Shopee Taiwan said in a statement.
It said it has been working to improve Taiwan’s e-commerce environment and it was sorry to hear “comments” targeting it.
The company said that it hopes e-commerce operators in Taiwan can focus on improving the nation’s e-commerce environment and improve shopping platforms to provide better services to consumers.
“The company will be subject to continuous penalties of up to NT$600,000 per fine if it is proven to have involved Chinese capital,” Chang said by telephone.
“The worst scenario would see Shopee Taiwan be asked to withdraw its investments from Taiwan,” Chang said.
The commission asked Taobao Hong Kong Ltd (香港淘寶) in 2015 to leave the Taiwanese market after it was found to have Chinese capitalization, even though it claimed to be a Hong Kong-based company, Chang added.
Shopee entered Taiwan two years ago and quickly became one of the nation’s leading e-commerce operators by offering free listings for sellers and free shipping for purchases of NT$99 or more.
Its app offers both business to consumer and consumer to consumer services.
Luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental Taipei (文華東方酒店) plans to reopen its guestrooms in December to take advantage of a boom in domestic travel. The reopening would come six months after the five-star facility suspended room operations to cut costs as countries across the region impose border controls to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, diminishing demand for business travel. “We are delighted to share that Mandarin Oriental Taipei will resume room operations on December 1,” the hotel said in a statement yesterday. The hotel in Songshan District (松山) said it would adopt stringent health and safety practices to ensure the well-being of its guests and employees. It
India’s COVID-19 economic gloom turned into despair this week, on news that its per capita GDP for this year might be lower than that of Bangladesh. “Any emerging economy doing well is good news,” Kaushik Basu, a former World Bank chief economist, said on Twitter after the IMF updated its World Economic Outlook. “But it’s shocking that India, which had a lead of 25% five years ago, is now trailing.” Ever since it began opening up the economy in the 1990s, India’s dream has been to emulate China’s rapid expansion. After three decades of persevering with that campaign, slipping behind Bangladesh hurts
When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down bars and concert halls in the US in March, a new phenomenon was born: the vacation-rental nightclub. Professional party promoters started scanning Airbnb, Vrbo and other short-term rental sites for mansions and luxury condos for hire. Tickets were going for US$90 on Eventbrite and TikTok for soirees with bottle service and DJs. “People were looking to escape from their own homes and came into our tiny neighborhood to party all day, every day,” said Kristen Robinson Doe, a resident of a quiet suburban Dallas neighborhood, where a party pad was being rented out for more than
HSBC Bank (Taiwan) Ltd (匯豐台灣商銀) has approved two sustainability-linked loans totaling NT$450 million (US$15.55 million) for Taya Group (大亞集團) and Sinbon Electronics Co (信邦電子), the bank said yesterday, adding that interest rates would fall if the borrowers’ sustainability performance improves. Those marked the first sustainability-linked loans granted by HSBC Taiwan, it said. While HSBC Taiwan has experience providing green loans for the nation’s developers of renewable energy sources to support their projects, the bank began focusing on sustainability-linked loans to meet rising demand from companies in other sectors planning to undertake sustainability programs, it said. “As we reward our clients who reach their