Taiwan News
TypeOnline newspaper
Owner(s)I-Mei Foods
PublisherLuis Ko
Founded1949 (as China News)
Political alignmentPan-Green[1]
HeadquartersTaipei, Taiwan
Taiwan News
Traditional Chinese臺灣英文新聞
Simplified Chinese台湾英文新闻
Literal meaningTaiwan English News
Alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese英文臺灣日報
Simplified Chinese英文台湾日报
Literal meaningEnglish Taiwan Daily
China News
Traditional Chinese英文中國日報
Simplified Chinese英文中国日报
Literal meaningEnglish China Daily

Taiwan News (formerly China News[2]) is an English-language online newspaper and former print newspaper in Taiwan. Its editorial position shifted to pan-Green after I-Mei Foods acquired a majority stake. I-Mei also publishes the Chinese-language news weekly of the same name.[1]


China News was founded on 6 June 1949 in Taipei by James Wei,[3] a journalist with close ties to the KMT and former employee of the Ministry of Information.[4]: 1858  The newspaper was established to cater for foreign residents and the local population in Taiwan.[4]: 1858  At the time it was the only English-language daily newspaper in Taiwan and it was a newspaper published in the afternoon. Later on, in order to compete with its new competitor, China News had to change and was published in the morning in order not to lose its advertisements.[1]

In 1960, the newspaper switched to block printing in a full-size page format.[2]

Wei left the newspaper in 1965. Wei was also a Reuters correspondent and deputy director of the Central News Agency. During his later years he was the sixth Director of the Government Information Office, serving from October 31, 1966, to June 1, 1972. Wei was a close advisor to Chiang Ching-kuo.[5][6]

China News ran into financial difficulties in 1996 and received capital injection from I-Mei Foods, but the management of the newspaper was unchanged.[4]: 1858  In May 1999, I-Mei Foods acquired 50 percent stake in the newspaper for NTD$60 million (US$1.8 million).[3] The newspaper's name was changed to Taiwan News to reflect the newspaper's new focus on readers in Taiwan and to avoid confusion with China Daily and China News Service.[3] After the change in ownership, Taiwan News increased its page count and lowered staff wages.[7][3] Under the ownership of I-Mei Foods, Simone Wei became the newspaper's chairperson and I-Mei CEO Kao Chih-ming became the publisher.[8]

By 1998, 63 percent of Taiwan News' readership were local readers and the rest were businesspeople, diplomats, academics, teachers and students from outside Taiwan.[9]: 149  Former editor Anthony Lawrance said in 2001 that Taiwan News mainly republished wire stories and had few articles with original reporting due to a lack of financial resources to hire English-speaking journalists and produce good translations from Chinese news articles, the high turnover of foreign editorial staff and the absence of an English speaking environment in Taiwan.[4]: 1859 

Taiwan News printed its last print edition on 30 September 2010.[10]

Editorial position

Under the ownership of I-Mei Foods, which is strongly associated with the Taiwanese identity, Taiwan News changed its editorial stance from being pro-KMT to being in favor of the Pan-Green coalition and Taiwan independence.[1][4]: 1858  According to former editor Anthony Lawrance, Taiwan News opposes autocracies and the People's Republic of China.[4]: 1858  In the late 1990s, Taiwan News rejected Chinese unification as advocated by the KMT and associations of Taiwan with the People's Republic of China under the "one country, two systems" principle.[4]: 1858 

COVID-19 reporting controversies

On 5 February 2020, Taiwan News published an article claiming that Tencent might have accidentally leaked the real numbers of death and infection in China. It suggested that the Tencent Epidemic Situation Tracker had briefly showed infected cases and death tolls many times higher of the official figure.[11] The article, referenced by other news outlets such as the Daily Mail and widely circulated on Twitter, Facebook and 4chan, sparked a wide range of conspiracy theories that the screenshot indicates the real death toll instead of the ones published by health officials.[12][13] Justin Lessler, associate professor at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, said the numbers suggested are "completely unreasonable" and that according to evidence, the case fatality rate is "far lower" than what the "leaked information" suggests. A spokesman for Tencent responded to the news article, claiming the image was doctored, and it features "false information which we never published".[13] The article's author later defended his story on a WION program.[12]

On 8 February 2020, another article by the same author reported images from anonymous Twitter accounts showing a massive increase in sulfur emissions over Wuhan, China.[12] The Twitter thread claimed that the reason was due to mass cremation of those who had died from COVID-19. The claim was also repeated by the Daily Express, the Daily Mail, and The Sun.[12][14][15] Snopes debunked the misinformation, pointing out that the maps used by the claims were not actual measurements of sulfur dioxide (SO2) concentrations above Wuhan but rather a computer-generated model forecasting weather patterns and SO2 emissions. In addition, sulphur emissions are not a significant factor in cremation.[14]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d 滕, 淑芬 (May 1991). "敲開國際大門──英文報市場硝煙四起". Taiwan Panorama. Archived from the original on 16 March 2020. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b Wilcox, Dennis L. (1967). English Language Newspapers Abroad: A Guide to Daily Newspapers in 56 Non-English-speaking Countries. Gale Research Company.
  3. ^ a b c d "Focus: Taipei's China News reborn – as Taiwan News". Reuters News. 12 May 1999.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Lams, Lutgard (May 2011). "Newspapers' narratives based on wire stories: Facsimiles of input?". Journal of Pragmatics. 43 (7): 1853–1864. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2010.09.021.
  5. ^ "Inventory of the James Wei diaries". Online Archive of California. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  6. ^ "A farewell to a wise and boon companion – James (Sanyeh Wei)". Taiwan Today. 1 November 1982. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  7. ^ Frazier, David; Scanlan, Sean (1 August 1999). "Paper Tiger". Asian Business. Vol. 35, no. 8. ISSN 0254-3729.
  8. ^ "Taiwan's China News gets cash boost, changes name". Reuters News. 12 May 1999.
  9. ^ Lams, Lutgard (2008). "Media Panic or Manic: The 2004 Taiwan Parliamentary Election in the Local English-Language Press" (PDF). Taiwan International Studies Quarterly. 4 (4): 145–184. S2CID 73641302.
  10. ^ "Taiwan News Goes Digital Multimedia". Taiwan News. 27 September 2010. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  11. ^ Everington, Keoni (2 February 2020). "Tencent may have accidentally leaked real data on Wuhan virus deaths". Taiwan News. Archived from the original on 17 February 2020. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  12. ^ a b c d Hioe B, Wooster L (12 February 2020). "Taiwan News Publishes COVID-19 Misinformation as Epidemic Spreads". New Bloom Magazine. Archived from the original on 29 February 2020. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  13. ^ a b Sharma R (11 February 2020). "A massively shared story about the 'real' Coronavirus death toll is fake: Here's how we know". Inews.co.uk. Archived from the original on 29 February 2020. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  14. ^ a b Kasprak A (24 February 2020). "Do Sulfur Emissions from Wuhan, China, Point to Mass Cremation of Coronavirus Victims?". Snopes.
  15. ^ "These aren't satellite images and they don't show evidence of mass cremations in Wuhan". FullFact. 13 February 2020.