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Want Want's Tsai is still richest in Taiwan: Forbes

TAIPEI -- Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明), chairman of Want Want Group (旺旺集團), has kept his place as the richest person in Taiwan for three years running with a fortune worth US$9.6 billion, according to Forbes.

Although Tsai's wealth fell from the US$10.6 billion recorded in 2013, he managed to stay on top of the Taiwan Rich List thanks to his range of businesses, including food/beverages, finance, media and hotel operations. Want Want has a vast food empire in China and owns one of Taiwan's major dailies, the China Times.

Second place on this year's list went to the Wei (魏) brothers of Ting Hsin International Group (頂新), another food producer that owns the popular Master Kong (康師傅) instant noodle brand, with their fortune of US$8.6 billion. The Weis were up one notch from last year.

In addition to the food industry, the Wei brothers are engaged in property development, holding a stake in Taiwan's landmark Taipei 101 skyscraper, and in fast food and telecoms.

Financial tycoon Tsai Wan-tsai (蔡萬才), the founder of financial services conglomerate Fubon Group (富邦), came in third with a fortune of US$7.9 billion, down one spot from last year, when he was worth US$8.1 billion.

Terry Gou (郭台銘), chairman of electronics giant Hon Hai Group (鴻海集團), placed fourth in Taiwan with a fortune of US$6.05 billion, up significantly from the US$4.8 billion recorded in 2013.

Property developer Lin Yu-lin (林堉璘), who runs Hung Tai Group (宏泰集團), came in fifth with a fortune of US$6 billion, nearly double last year's US$3.4 billion.

Sixth pace went to Luo Jye (羅結), founder of tire supplier Cheng Shin (正新) Ind. Co., whose fortune came in at US$4.6 billion, followed by Barry Lam (林百里), chairman of world's largest contract laptop maker Quanta Computer Inc. (廣達電腦), who had a fortune of US$4.5 billion.

Samuel Yin (尹衍樑), head of conglomerate Ruentex Group (潤泰集團) and the man behind the newly established Tang Prize, ranked a close eighth at US$4.48 billion.

Rounding out the top 10 were Lin Rong san (林榮三), who controls Union Bank (聯邦銀行), with a fortune of US$4.4 billion, followed by brothers Tsai Hong-tu (蔡宏圖) and Tsai Cheng-da, who are behind Cathay Financial Holding (國泰金控), with a shared fortune of US$4.08 billion.

Chao Teng-hsiung, founder of property developer Farglory Group and the center of an ongoing bribery investigation, ranked 21st in Taiwan with a fortune of US$1.7 billion, while Cher Wang (王雪紅), chairwoman of smartphone vendor HTC Corp (宏達電). owned a fortune of US$1.55 billion to rank 23rd.

Scott Lin (林耀英) and Tony Chen (陳世卿), the two founders of smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co. (大立光), ranked 33rd and 40th, respectively, with fortunes of US$1.18 billion and US$950 million.

(Related story on page 15)

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