Audrey Tang Feng
Official portrait, 2016
1st Minister of Digital Affairs
Assumed office
27 August 2022
PremierSu Tseng-chang
Chen Chien-jen
See list
  • Huai-Jen Lee
    Chuei He-ming
Preceded byPosition established
Minister without Portfolio
In office
1 October 2016 – 27 August 2022
See list
Personal details
Autrijus Tang Tsung-han (唐宗漢)

18 April 1981 (1981-04-18) (age 42)
Taipei, Taiwan
Political partyIndependent
  • Tang Kuang-hua (father)
  • Li Ya-ching (mother)
  • Bestian Tang Tsung-hao (brother)
ProfessionSoftware programmer
Audrey Tang
Traditional Chinese唐鳳
Simplified Chinese唐凤
Original name
Traditional Chinese唐宗漢
Simplified Chinese唐宗汉

Audrey Tang Feng (Chinese: 唐鳳; pinyin: Táng Fèng; born 18 April 1981) is a Taiwanese politician and free software programmer who has served as the 1st Minister of Digital Affairs of Taiwan since August 2022.[1] She has been described as one of the "ten greatest Taiwanese computing personalities".[2] In August 2016, Tang was invited to join Taiwan's Executive Yuan as a minister without portfolio, making her the first transgender person and the first non-binary official in the top executive cabinet.[3][4][5] Tang has identified as "post-gender" and accepts "whatever pronoun people want to describe me with online."[6] Tang is a community leader of Haskell and Perl and the core member of g0v.

Early life

Tang was born Autrijus Tang Tsung-han (Chinese: 唐宗漢; pinyin: Táng Zōnghàn)[7] to father Tang Kuang-hua and mother Lee Ya-ching.[8] Lee Ya-ching helped develop Taiwan's first consumer co-operative, and co-developed an experimental primary school employing indigenous teachers.[9] Tang was a child prodigy, reading works of classical literature before the age of five, advanced mathematics before six, and programming before eight,[10] and she began to learn Perl at age 12.[11] Tang spent part of her childhood in Germany.[12] Two years later, she dropped out of junior high school, unable to adapt to student life.[2] By the year 2000, at the age of 19, Tang had already held positions in software companies, and worked in California's Silicon Valley as an entrepreneur.[11]

In late 2005, Tang began transitioning to female, including changing her English and Chinese names, citing a need to reconcile her outward appearance with her self-image.[13] In 2017, Tang said, "I've been shutting reality off, and lived almost exclusively on the net for many years, because my brain knows for sure that I am a woman, but the social expectations demand otherwise."[14] In 2019, Tang identified as "post-gender" or non-binary, responding to a request regarding pronoun preferences with "What's important here is not which pronouns you use, but the experience...about those pronouns... I'm not just non-binary. I'm really whatever, so do whatever."[4][5]

The television news channel ETToday reported that Tang has an IQ of 180.[2] Tang has been a vocal proponent for autodidacticism[15] and anarchism.[11][16][17]

Free software contributions

Tang initiated and led the Pugs project, a joint effort from the Haskell and Perl communities to implement the Perl 6 language;[18] Tang also made contributions to internationalization and localization efforts for several Free Software programs, including SVK (a version-control software written in Perl for which Tang also wrote a large portion of the code), Request Tracker, and Slash, created Ethercalc,[19] building on Dan Bricklin's work on WikiCalc and their work together on SocialCalc, as well as heading Traditional Chinese translation efforts for various open source-related books.[2][11]

On CPAN, Tang initiated over 100 Perl projects between June 2001 and July 2006, including the popular Perl Archive Toolkit (PAR), a cross-platform packaging and deployment tool for Perl 5.[20] Tang is also responsible for setting up smoke test and digital signature systems for CPAN.[21] In October 2005, Tang was a speaker at O'Reilly Media's European Open Source Convention in Amsterdam.[22]

Political career

Tang became involved in politics during Taiwan's 2014 Sunflower Student Movement demonstrations, in which Tang volunteered to help the protesters occupying the Taiwanese parliament building broadcast their message. The prime minister invited Tang to build media literacy curricula for Taiwan's schools, which was implemented in late 2017. Following this work, Tang was appointed minister without portfolio for digital affairs[23] in the Lin Chuan cabinet in August 2016, and took office as the digital minister on October 1, being placed in charge of helping government agencies communicate policy goals and managing information published by the government, both via digital means.[24][25] At age 35, Tang was the youngest minister without portfolio in Taiwanese history[26] and was given this role to bridge the gap between the older and younger generations.[27]

As a conservative anarchist, Tang ultimately desires the abolition of Taiwan and all states, and justifies working for the state by the opportunity it affords to promote worthwhile ends. Tang's conservatism stems from wanting to preserve free public spaces independent from the state, such as Internet properties, and wanting technological advances to be applied humanistically so that all, rather than a few, can reap its benefits, to the exclusion of others.[23] Tang's department does not follow hierarchical or bureaucratic relationships. As of 2017, Tang's staff of 15 chose to work in the department. The group produces a weekly roadmap as collaborators, not orders.[7] Tang was quoted as saying, "My existence is not to become a minister for a certain group, nor to broadcast government propaganda. Instead, it is to become a 'channel' to allow greater combinations of intelligence and strength to come together."[28]

Tang's first initiative, the g0v project, involved swapping out the "o" for a zero in the government's "" top-level domain to view more accessible and interactive versions of those governmental websites. The project was open source, in line with Tang's principles, and very popular, accessed millions of times each month. Another initiative, vTaiwan, uses social media paradigms for citizens to create digital petitions. Those with 5,000 signatures are brought to the premier and government ministries to be addressed. Changes implemented through this system include access to income tax software for non-Windows computers, and changes to cancer treatment regulations. The Taiwanese parliament complained that citizens had better access to influence regulation than they did as legislators.[23] As of 2017, Tang was working on sharing economy software that would facilitate the free exchange of resources in abundance instead of the ride-sharing and peer hotel applications for which the technology is known.[7]

As a general practice of "radical transparency", all of Tang's meetings are recorded, transcribed, and uploaded to a public website. Tang also publicly responds to questions sent through another website.[23]

In 2022, Tang hosted the video podcast "Innovative Minds with Audrey Tang" in a collaboration with TaiwanPlus, an international streaming service.[29] Guests on the program include Steve Chen, Vitalik Buterin, Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Sandra Oudkirk.[30]

In January 2023 Tang became an e-resident of Lithuania which was announced during her first foreign visit as Digital Affairs minister in Vilnius, Lithuania.[31]


  1. ^ "EY.GOV.TW—Executive Yuan Officials: TANG Feng (Audrey TANG), Minister without Portfolio". December 2011. Archived from the original on 2020-10-28. Retrieved 2021-02-09.
  2. ^ a b c d Chen, Chun-ming (2006-02-08). "別叫我「先生」! 電腦怪傑唐宗漢變性 改名唐鳳 (Don't call me "Mister"! Tang Zonghan changes sex, name now Tang Feng)" (in Chinese). Eastern Television. Archived from the original on 2006-10-19. Retrieved 2007-03-22.
  3. ^ "PROFILE: Audrey Tang: 100% made in Taiwan – Taipei Times". 2016-08-28. Archived from the original on 2016-08-28. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  4. ^ a b Glauert, Rik (2018-11-29). "What you didn't know about the world's first non-binary minister". Gay Star News. Archived from the original on 2020-07-28. Retrieved 2020-07-28.
  5. ^ a b "Interview with Mia Hunt". Archived from the original on 2020-07-28.
  6. ^ "Audrey Tang is radically transparent". Dumbo Feather. Archived from the original on 2020-09-19. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  7. ^ a b c Jennings, Ralph (May 9, 2017). "She's young, transgender and an anarchist, and is leading Taiwan's drive to become a digital powerhouse". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 20, 2020. Retrieved September 19, 2020.
  8. ^ Chung, Jake (28 August 2016). "PROFILE: Audrey Tang: 100% made in Taiwan". Taipei Times. Archived from the original on 28 August 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Transcript: 2020-07-14 Interview with Tammy Kim". Transcripts. Archived from the original on 2017-10-10. Retrieved 2020-12-22.
  10. ^ TING-FANG, CHENG; LI, LAULY; IHARA, KENSAKU. "Taiwan digital minister warns of China's 5G 'Trojan horse'". Nikkei. Archived from the original on 15 July 2020. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  11. ^ a b c d Li, Hsin-ru (2000-06-28). "專題報導 : 尋找台灣自由軟體力量 (Special Report: Searching for the power of Taiwanese free software)". CNet Taiwan). Archived from the original on 2006-08-31. Retrieved 2007-03-22.
  12. ^ "Ghost Island Media 鬼島之音". Ghost Island Media 鬼島之音. Retrieved 2021-03-03.
  13. ^ "Audrey Tang's Blog: Runtime Typecasting". December 2005. Archived from the original on 1 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-04.
  14. ^ Audrey, "鳳" Archived 2007-07-01 at the Wayback Machine "Phoenix", 1 February 2017
  15. ^ Chen, Bo-nian (2000-06-28). "平淡中見絢爤-李雅卿的教改之路 (Lee Ya-Ching's road toward educational reform)". Epoch Taiwan). Archived from the original on 2004-01-15. Retrieved 2007-04-16.
  16. ^ "Audrey Tang on her "conservative-anarchist" vision for Taiwan's future. "Any top-down, coercion, whether it's from the capitalists or from the state, is equally bad."". Rest of World. 2020-09-29. Retrieved 2023-03-22.
  17. ^ Audrey Tang on what it means to be a Conservative Anarchist, retrieved 2023-03-22. Anarchist in the sense of not accepting coersion and "conservative" in the sense of conservationist or the preservation of biodiversity, natural-social-cultural diversity. Not to be confused with Tory ideology – quite the opposite for Audrey.
  18. ^ "A Plan for Pugs". O'Reilly Media. 2005-03-03. Archived from the original on 2012-09-08. Retrieved 2007-03-22.
  19. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2020-09-09. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  20. ^ "Author page for autrijus". CPAN. Archived from the original on 2013-12-28. Retrieved 2007-03-22.
  21. ^ "Becoming a CPAN Tester with CPANPLUS". O'Reilly Media. 2002-04-30. Archived from the original on 2012-09-07. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
  22. ^ "Perl Internationalization and Haskell: an interview with Autrijus Tang". O'Reilly Media. 2005-09-08. Archived from the original on 31 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-23.
  23. ^ a b c d Ronel, Asaf (July 17, 2017). "The anarchist minister from the future who's redefining democracy". Haaretz. Archived from the original on August 14, 2021. Retrieved September 19, 2020.
  24. ^ Lin, Milly; Tai, Ya-chen; Huang, Chiao-wen; Chang, S.C. (25 August 2016). "Young minister a bold attempt to solve government problems". Central News Agency. Archived from the original on 26 August 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  25. ^ Hsiao, Alison (26 August 2016). "Programming expert to join Executive Yuan". Taipei Times. Archived from the original on 26 August 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  26. ^ Lin, Luang-sen; Chung, Jake (2 February 2017). "Wellington Koo and wife, Audrey Tang report assets". Taipei Times. Archived from the original on 1 February 2017. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  27. ^ James Wang, ″Generation Gap a factor for Blue and Green Camps″ Archived 2017-02-03 at the Wayback Machine, ″Taipei Times″, 1 February 2017
  28. ^ The China Post News staff, ″Cabinet to appoint minister to steer open gov't initiative″, "The China Post″, Retrieved 1 February 2017 Archived 1 October 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ Focus Taiwan staff, ″Minister's new podcast″, "CNA″, Retrieved 12 May 2022
  30. ^ "Audrey Tang and TaiwanPlus: The Age of Innovation", "Commonwealth Magazine", Retrieved 12 May 2022
  31. ^ "Taivano skaitmeninių reikalų ministrė tapo Lietuvos e. rezidente: visame pasaulyje tokių asmenų jau virš 300". Lithuanian National Radio and Television (in Lithuanian). 2023-01-12. Retrieved 2023-01-13.


Further reading