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Taiwan Entangled in the Global Economy: Silicon, Supply Chains, Geopolitics

Bokeh electronic circuit close up computer in red colors

May 7, 2021

The UW Taiwan Studies Program, along with the UW East Asia Center and the UW Foster School of Business Global Business Center, presents a panel discussion on Taiwan Entangled in the Global Economy: Silicon, Supply Chains, Geopolitics. This virtual panel took place on Wednesday, May 19th, 4:30pm – 6pm Pacific Time.


In the backdrop of disruptions to international supply chains and national economies from the  COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan’s economic growth and success stand in stark contrast. As Taiwan’s economy thrives, led by its superlative response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the success of firms like TSMC, how does Taiwan’s involvement in the global economy change?  Meanwhile, heightened hostility in US-China relations looms large, and the United States seeks to address security vulnerabilities in its exposure to Taiwanese semiconductors. How do Taiwan’s businesses navigate greater US-China-Taiwan geopolitical forces? This panel invites three experts from academia, journalism, and industry to discuss Taiwan’s business landscape  during a turbulent pandemic world and the post-pandemic future.


Panel speakers:

William Kirby, Professor, Harvard University

William C. Kirby is T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies at Harvard University and Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He is a University Distinguished Service Professor. Professor Kirby serves as Chairman of the Harvard China Fund and Faculty Chair of the Harvard Center Shanghai. At Harvard he has served as Director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Chairman of the History Department, and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. His current projects include case studies of trend-setting Chinese businesses and a comparative study of higher education in China, Europe, and the United States. His most recent books include is Can China Lead? (Harvard Business Review Press) and China and Europe on the New Silk Road (Oxford University Press).

Ken Sun, General Manager (Taiwan), Microsoft

Ken Sun is the General Manager of Microsoft Taiwan where he leads the sales and marketing team across segments and business groups.  From Cloud services to AI and mixed reality, Ken is responsible for driving strategic planning, national digital transformation partnerships, and growing Microsoft Taiwan’s commercial business. Ken helps to build Microsoft’s vibrant ecosystems in Taiwan with small and medium sized businesses, start-ups, public sector entities, partners all the way to global industry leaders.  Prior to Microsoft, Ken served as the Country President of Schneider Electric and General Manager of National Instruments in Taiwan.  Ken is on the board of directors of Taiwan’s Cloud Computing & IoT Association, and also serves on the board of the Taipei Computer Association, Taiwan’s leading industry association and co-organizer of Asia’s biggest ICT show, Computex.  Ken is a graduate of the University of Washington, with a B.S degree in Electrical Engineering.

Cindy Wang, Breaking News Editor, Bloomberg

Cindy Wang is a breaking news editor at Bloomberg News Taipei bureau. She is responsible for sending market-moving news headlines on a real-time basis and tell the biggest stories of Taiwan’s financial markets. She is capable of making quick decisions on news value under massive deadline pressure, while monitoring social media and other faster sources of information to stay on top of major events in Taiwan. She works closely with other teams in the newsroom to stay prepared and informed. Joined Bloomberg since 2007, Cindy has held several different roles over the years: first as a Chinese translator, greater China markets reporter, and then Taiwan markets reporter. Prior to Bloomberg, Cindy was a reporter at Taiwan’s Economic Daily News. She is co-author of the book Blue Ocean Strategy in Taiwan (Commonwealth Publishing Co., 2006).


James Lin, Assistant Professor at the University of Washington, acts as moderator.