Tsai has since moved most of Want Want’s operations to China, where the company employs more than 50,000 people, compared with 6,000 in Taiwan. It has 331 sales offices in China. In Taiwan, it has two. His corporate jet is painted bright red. Focused on selling food, Want Want “needs mouths,” Tsai said. “Taiwan has only 23 million people, but China has more than a billion. . . . The most important thing is that the mainland market is so big.” It generates more than 90 percent of his profits.
A more pro-China line
When Tsai first bought China Times and an affiliated television station, rumors spread that he had received encouragement and even money from Beijing, which was wary of the media group falling into the hands of Lai, the owner of Apple Daily.
Lai was near to signing a deal but lost out at the last minute when Tsai offered more money.