Local businesses cash in on scandal

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 June, 2006, 12:00am

The so-called 'Chao Chien-ming effect' has been a hot issue in Taiwan since the son-in-law of President Chen Shui-bian was implicated in a multimillion-dollar insider trading scandal that might force Mr Chen to resign.

While Dr Chao (right), who's married to the president's daughter Chen Hsing-yu, was alleged to have used his father-in-law's influence to make windfall profits, some businessmen have also made money from Dr Chao - selling a variety of products that tap into public interest in the case.

Shops have been peddling goods ranging from T-shirts, mugs and paper fans to caps and stickers, with the image of Dr Chao looking back at the sunny sky before he was taken into custody by prosecutors in May.

Some popular items, including a paper fan, bear the slogan 'Upholding justice and supporting prosecution authorities in their investigation'.

Also profiting from the scandal is an upscale Japanese restaurant, where Dr Chao dined with three businessmen allegedly to get information for the insider trading of which he is accused. The Taipei eatery has seen the number of customers surge, while another restaurant at a hotel has also leveraged business on the back of Dr Chao's custom, reporting a 'full house' almost every day.