Both nations have high GDPs, both nations have relatively low unemployment rates. What is not shown in these statistics is the fact that Taiwan, of all the Asian Tigers, has the strongest Internet Penetration.
The Language of Information Technology
About 80% of the Internet is in English, a fact that gives English speakers "access to more information, faster, than non-English speakers. Advances in technology, science and commerce arise and spread quickly -- most often in English. To build up knowledge, English is a must" (Schmit, 2000, 1B).
Schmit then quotes a Japanese study which concludes "If. . .engineers lack English skills, they will not be able to quickly grasp technological advances...They will . . . fall further behind in every way," (Schmit, 2000, 1B).
According to a July 5, 2000 survey of Internet Users in Taiwan, there are now in excess of 6.4 million Internet users in Taiwan, equivalent to 31 percent of the island's population over the age of five. The "iamasia NetKnowledge Taiwan" survey also pointed out that Internet users in Taiwan are generally younger and wealthier than non-users. "The average Internet user is 25 years old with a monthly household income of TWD88,000 (USD2,840) while the average non-user is 39 years old with a monthly annual income of TWD61,000 (USD1,970)" ("Almost...", 2000, Online). This last fact is not surprising since Internet access in Taiwan is considerably more expensive than in the United States with average mont