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Booming Chip Exports Mask Misery in Taiwan’s Services Sectors

July 14, 2021, 9:00 PM

The streets in Taipei’s high-end Xinyi area are usually filled with shoppers wandering the maze of interconnected department stores, diners waiting in long lines for popular restaurants, and families buying popcorn before watching a movie.

Known locally as the capital’s “golden zone”, it is now largely empty even on sunny weekends. It’s a striking contrast to other major cities around the world that are starting to reopen and a blow to Taiwan’s retail and restaurant industries, which employ about 20% of the economy’s workers.

Kang Yuan, a traditional Cantonese restaurant often frequented by Taiwan’s lawmakers, closed its doors earlier this ...

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