Show Chung Ho is a leading industrial and financial figure in Taiwan. He is a director and the former chairman of the Yuen Foong Yu (YFY) Paper Manufacturing Co. Ltd., and the chairman of the diversified financial group SinoPac Holdings.
Ho led YFY to become the largest paper company in Taiwan and a leading player in the greater China market. With 44 years of expertise covering the full production cycle from upstream forestration paper manufacturing to downstream printing and converting, he is an acknowledged visionary in the industry and has put the company at the forefront of the fast-growing electronic paper market.
As chairman of SinoPac, he transformed a local community bank into the third-largest financial holdings group in Taiwan.
Ho was born in 1945, just before the surrender of Japan and the beginning of Taiwan’s political transformation as the Republic of China. He is one of the first in the baby-boomer generation and has been an integral part of Taiwan’s post-war economic miracle.
In 1967, he received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from National Cheng Kung University, and was accepted for admission to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He received a master’s degree in 1969.
Upon receiving his master’s, he returned to Taiwan to work with his father, Chuan Ho, the founder of YFY, in launching two projects in Eastern Taiwan: CHP, a wood pulp joint venture, and a paperboard factory.
As Taiwan entered a period of rapid economic expansion in the 1970s, YFY initiated its first overseas investments, marking the beginning of YFY’s intensive international market development. In 1976, YFY established P.T. Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper Corp., IKPP (Indonesia), a pioneer in Indonesia’s paper industry. In 1984, it launched a joint venture with Siam Cement Group (Thailand) to establish Thai Paper Co. Ltd., which is now SPPC.
Both investments involved the export of machinery and manufacturing expertise. With this successful business model, both Kiat Pulp & Paper and SPPC are the largest pulp and paper companies in their domestic markets.
Technology has always been at the center of Ho’s work. With a solid belief that thin film transistors will grow quickly to become a major method of delivering the written word, YFY has established Prime View International (PVI), the first thin film transistors company in Taiwan in 1992 and started thin film transistor industry development in Taiwan.
Another key area of interest is in electronic paper. In 2008, PVI partnered with the E-Ink company and became a supplier to the Amazon Kindle.
In 2009, PVI purchased E-Ink, enabling the new company, E Ink Holding Inc., to become the global leader in e-paper. This marked the transformation of 63-year-old YFY Paper Manufacturing Co. from a being a traditional paper manufacturer to becoming a leader in the e-paper market.
With a focus on a green environment, for the past six years, YFY has researched the benefits of microorganisms and enzymes. For example, in its China plant, it recycles agricultural waste such as straw and uses it as the raw materials to produce pulp through biotechnology.
Ho has also been active in financial services. The community bank begun by his father and a few friends in 1948 — the first private bank in the country — has now become SinoPac Holdings, the third-largest financial holdings group in Taiwan.
Ho succeeded his father as chairman in 1986, a position he continues to hold. The group has 34 subsidiaries, including a commercial bank, securities firm, a venture capital group and investment trust operation, among others.
Aside from his corporate work, Ho has been active in a large number of economic and cultural development programs. Among them, he was director of the Taiwan Paper Industry Association from 1985 to 1991, where he helped to globalize Taiwan’s paper industry. He was awarded an Eisenhower Fellowship in 1990 and became a member of the Eisenhower Foundation. He was a founding member of the Epoch Foundation, established with other private entrepreneurs in 1990 to help build relationships between Taiwan and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ho became a member of the 1994 Education Reform Committee (Taiwan), which made recommendations to the Taiwanese government cabinet on improving Taiwan’s education system. He is executive director of the Chinese National Federation of Industries (CNFI), a non-profit organization of associations from various industries in Taiwan. He was chairman of the Taiwan Biotech Association from 2006 to 2009. The association has the longest history and broadest membership of any biotech group in Taiwan. He was a member of the Taiwanese delegation to the Economic Leaders’ Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group (APEC) in 2009 and was chairman of the Chinese Professional Management Association, the largest professional management group in Taiwan, from 1986 to 1988.
Ho is married to Sing-Ju Chang, an educator and editor of children’s books. The couple founded the Hsin-Yi Foundation, the first organization in Taiwan promoting research into the importance of pre-school education. Their son Felix received a bachelor’s degree in management science and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Their daughter Stephanie graduated from Brown University with a degree in political science.