Taiwan - Country Commercial Guide
Information and Telecommunications Technology

Taiwan is a well-known ICT manufacturing hub due to its industry base, robust semiconductor manufacturing clusters, & advanced manufacturing capacity.  

Last published date: 2021-09-13

Overview

Taiwan is a well-known ICT manufacturing hub due to its strong ICT industry base, robust semiconductor manufacturing clusters, and advanced manufacturing capacity. These advantages have enabled it to rapidly develop many companies that offer advanced ICT-related products and services.  Many Taiwan companies provide Original Design Manufacturer services to U.S. ICT suppliers.  Others have established strong supply chains that use U.S. suppliers as intermediaries, allowing their businesses to expand beyond Taiwan to other regions including Southeast Asia. 

The Taiwan authorities have identified cloud and mobile computing as the most promising sectors in Taiwan’s computer software and service industries. Strong market demand for network services is driven by the rising popularity of online services such as shopping, music and video entertainment, video conferencing, and gaming. Many U.S. content providers and platform developers work with domestic service providers to localize their product offerings for the Taiwan market.

Due to fierce international competition and the move to teleworking resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, the cybersecurity of ICT products has become one of the biggest concerns for buyers, thus ensuring that the strength of ICT products and services is a top priority of buyers in Taiwan.

Leading Sub-Sectors

  • 5G
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Audio production equipment for broadcast and television
  • Augmented reality (AR)
  • Big data
  • Broadcasting hardware equipment
  • Business application software
  • Business intelligence-related applications
  • Cybersecurity software
  • Cloud computing security software
  • Secure cloud connectivity
  • Data leakage prevention (DLP)
  • Identity and access management (IAM)
  • Information security solutions
  • Information systems integration and consolidation solutions
  • Mobile computing

Secure content and threat management (SCTM)

  • Security and vulnerability management software (SVM)
  • Storage solutions
  • System and network management software
  • Virtual reality (VR)

Opportunities

Cybersecurity, Software, and Computer Services

Taiwan’s cybersecurity market is estimated to be worth US$1.74 billion. According to the Industrial Technology Research Institute, nearly 80 percent of global network security hardware equipment is produced in Taiwan.  Software and large-scale security solutions are mostly purchased from foreign suppliers, with after-sales service being provided by local system integration vendors.  Israeli software suppliers are the main competitors to U.S. software suppliers in the Taiwan market.  One of the goals of the upcoming Ministry of Digital Development (MODD) is to make Taiwan the cybersecurity training hub in APEC and to build a cybersecurity environment through collaboration between the public and private sectors.  Expanding the international participation and deepening cross-board intelligence sharing also will play important roles in the near future.

Taiwan receives the second highest number of Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attacks according to a recent report by U.S. cybersecurity firm FireEye. Previously, the main targeted organizations were hospitals and the Taiwan authorities. However, cyber criminals are increasingly targeting private industry by exploiting loopholes in smart manufacturing supply chains and low latency in 5G networks. Thus, cybersecurity has become a key point of maintaining industries’ competitive advantages. MODD will enforce the cybersecurity strengths in the defense, critical infrastructures, and semiconductor and telecommunication industries. According to one of the Cybersec 2021 seminar presentations in Taiwan, only around 0.2% of the private sector has its own cybersecurity team with budgets of more than US$100,000, and more than 95% of the enterprises have little cybersecurity budget or a dedicated cybersecurity team.

Local demand for cybersecurity has primarily focused on internet security, with many local enterprises embracing the concepts in the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework, including how to identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover from cyber-attacks.  In 2020, the financial services industry was the leading demand sector in Taiwan for cybersecurity solutions, with government, educational institutions and healthcare following closely behind in terms of demand.  

The Taiwan authorities are also concerned about cyber-attacks from China.  According to the Taiwan National Security Council, U.S. software companies are welcome and encouraged to participate in public tenders.  For tenders from Taiwan’s National Security Council, National Security Bureau and the Ministry of National Defense, all the software/hardware including parts cannot be sourced from China.  The Taiwan Cyber Security Management Act (the Act) went into effect in January 2019.  Central and local authorities, public organizations, and critical infrastructure providers are regulated by the Act.  Along with the Act, a special budget of NT$1.4 billion (US$46.8 million) per year (from 2017–2020) is available to assist both central and local authorities improve their cybersecurity infrastructure and management.  More broadly, the Act has raised awareness of the need for manufacturers to invest in additional cybersecurity tools and attract foreign technology firms to Taiwan.

In order to promote U.S. cybersecurity companies in Taiwan, CS Taiwan led a delegation of representatives from the Taiwan authorities, critical infrastructure providers, and financial institutions to the RSA Conference in San Francisco, CA, in March 2019 and February 2020. CS Taiwan also regularly hosts cybersecurity events for U.S. companies to participate and promote their solutions.

Internet of Things (IoT)

U.S. companies interested in pursuing IoT sub-sector opportunities are attracted to Taiwan because of its strong ICT manufacturing sector, high national internet usage rate of more than 80 percent, its respect for intellectual property rights and privacy.  Furthermore, Taiwan companies often seek partnerships with U.S. companies when expanding beyond Taiwan such as developing new IoT applications via 5G usage.

The “Forward-Looking Infrastructure Development Program” is Taiwan’s most important program promoting IoT development. The 2017-2020 budget allocated $13.9 billion to fund development projects in green energy, digital infrastructure, railway technology, and protection of the aquatic environment. Under this program, smart city development throughout Taiwan has seen localities implement IoT innovations including smart governance, smart transport, and smart healthcare.

Resources

Trade Shows

  • CS Taipei will lead delegations of Taiwan importers to the following ICT-related trade shows in the United States for matchmaking opportunities with U.S. companies (pending the global situation with the pandemic) :
  • International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Las Vegas, NV
  • RSA Conference USA, San Francisco, CA

In 2022, the following ICT-related local trade shows will be held in Taipei, Taiwan:

  • Taipei Smart City Summit and Expo
  • Cybersec Forum
  • Computex

Relevant Authorities

  • Board of Science and Technology (BOST)
  • Executive Yuan (EY)
  • Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI)
  • Information Service Industry Association of R.O.C.
  • Institute for Information Industry (III)
  • iThome
  • Market Intelligence and Consulting Institute (MIC)
  • Ministry of Culture (MOC)
  • Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA)
  • National Center for Cyber Security Technology (NCCST)
  • National Communications Commission (NCC)
  • Taipei Computer Association (TCA)
  • Taiwan Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers’ Association (TEEMA)

U.S. firms interested in learning more about the ICT and Telecommunications market and seeking to expand their export opportunities to Taiwan are encouraged to contact CS Taiwan Commercial Specialist Rita Chen at Rita.Chen@trade.gov.