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Ex-NPP leader invited to join board of Taiwan home appliance maker Tatung

Factions inside company have been accused of accepting Chinese investment

Former NPP Chairman Huang Kuo-chang 

Former NPP Chairman Huang Kuo-chang  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Troubled home appliance maker Tatung Co. has invited former New Power Party (NPP) Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) to serve as an independent board member, reports said Tuesday (May 5).

The Tatung Company, which was founded in 1918 and is best known in Taiwan for its rice cookers, has become the target of widespread doubts about the likelihood of illegal Chinese investment. At the same time, the group has struggled with two ailing affiliates, panel maker Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd. (中華映管) and solar wafer producer Green Energy Technology (綠能).

While the company has also been torn by internal disputes, one faction invited Huang to join Tatung’s board as an independent member, CNA reported. He gained prominence as one of the leaders of the 2014 Sunflower Movement against a trade agreement with China and later founded the NPP, for which he served as chairman and legislator.

Huang confirmed the reports and said that if he was elected at a meeting scheduled for June 30, he would propose to form a taskforce within the company to investigate allegations of illegal Chinese funding and of forged accounts.

Initially, a businessman had asked him to clear up problems at the Tatung Group, but he had refused at first because he did not hold a positive opinion of either faction, CNA reported. Later, the “market faction,” which is opposed to the company’s founding Lin family, expressed its support for Huang.

The group denied any links to investment from China, saying it wanted to help the company survive as an icon of Taiwan’s business history.