Wang Yung-Ching, founder of Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics Group, has passed away at the age of 91 while on a business trip to the United States. Wang died unexpectedly in his sleep at his daughter’s home in New Jersey.
Known affectionately as the “Midas of Management” in Taiwan, Wang started his business by selling rice in 1932. From that humble beginning, Wang would become the richest man in Taiwan with a personal fortune (last year) of U.S. $6.8 billion. Wang’s rags-to-rich’s story, coupled with his frugal, unassuming, hardworking lifestyle, makes him one of the most inspirational figures in Taiwan in a generation.
Wang began building his business conglomerate in the early 1950s – when the Japanese had just left the island. His conglomerate would help to transform Taiwan’s biotechnology, petrochemical processing and electronic components production industries into leaders of the world.
Wang’s conflogmerate would grow to include Formosa Plastics Corporation, Nan Ya Plastics Corporation (NPC), Formosa Chemicals and Fiber Corporation (FCFC), Formosa Petrochemical Corporation (FPCC), Formosa Taffeta Co., Ltd. (FTC), Nan Ya Technology Corporation, Inotera Memories, Inc., Nan Ya Printed Circuit Board Corporation, Formosa Sumco Technology Corporation and Formosa Advanced Technologies Company, among others.
Besides being a role model and a highly regarded business leader, Wang is also known for his open and early call (since at least 2001) for Taiwan to adhere to a “one China policy” and to develop closer economic and political ties with the Mainland. Wang was among the first wave of Taiwanese businessmen to start doing business and to invest in the Mainland on a large scale. After the tragic Sichan quake earlier this year, Wang’s group was among the earliest business concerns to pledge donations to help the victims (Wang’s group donated 100 million yuan (14.6 million U.S. dollars)).
Wang is survived by two daughters and eight sons and has willed most of his personal fortunes to charities. Wang Yung-Ching will be sadly missed by Chinese compatriots on both sides of the strait.