Wang Yung-Ching: Founder of Formosa Plastic Group

One of the foremost industrialists in the plastic industry was born in Taipei, Taiwan on January 18 in the year 1917. His name was Wang Yung-Ching (abbreviated as Y.C. Wang), the founder of Formosa Plastic Group, the largest conglomerate in Taiwan.

Wang Yung-Ching
Wang Yung-Ching (Credit: New York Times)

Y. C. was the son of a farmer. Although his formal education was limited to elementary, he had keen business sense with willingness to learn new things. He opened a rice store and later entered the timber industry. After the Second World War, he developed connection with the new Chiang kai-shek government which gave much support to the growth of his business empire.

In 1954, Y. C. founded Formosa Plastics. Using a loan from the American government, he built the first polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant in the southern city of Kaoshiung. In the following years, he expanded his chemical operation by building vertically integrated petrochemical plants and then diversified into synthetic fibers, cosmetics, electronics, and car manufacturing.

In 1978, Formosa Plastics established a subsidiary in the United States and built several chemical plants in four states. In the 1980s, it established a petrochemical and steel plant in Vietnam after pulling out from the Philippines due to legal entanglements. In mainland China, Formosa Plastics build not only chemical-related factories but also power plants.

Y.C. Wang died in 2008 at the age of 91. He married Yueh-Lan in 1935 but the couple did not have children. He took a mistress who bore him 5 children. He took a third mistress who gave him 4 more children. At the time of his death, his net worth was estimated at $6.8 billion. In June of 2020, Formosa Plastics was valued at $18.8 billion with revenues of more than US$6.7 billion.


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