Tech Boss: Cher Wang

We seldom hear about women in the tech industry, but they are making waves, seemingly behind the scenes. One of them is Cher Wang, a Taiwanese businesswoman and the co-founder of HTC.

Wang was born in Taipei in 1958. She went on to co-found the HTC Corporation and began serving as the company’s chairperson in 2007. Statistically, one out of every six smartphones in the US is an HTC. The company’s influence and success is one of the reasons that Wang is considered one of the most powerful women in technology. According to Forbes, she is the 54th most powerful woman in the world.

Wang’s father, Wang Yung-Ching was the founder of Formosa Plastics Group and was one of the wealthiest men in Taiwan up until his death in 2008. Wang went to school in California, completing her secondary education at the College Preparatory School in Oakland and receiving a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1981. The following year Wang joined the Taiwanese computer and components manufacturer First International Computer (FIC), then co-founded VIA Technologies in 1987 and HTC in 1997.

She is also well-known for her philanthropy and in 2011 donated US$28.1 million to found Guizhou Forerunner College, a not-for-profit college set up by VIA Technologies’ non-profit organisation the Faith-Hope-Love Foundation. The college provides three years of free and low-cost education to students from low-income families in southwest China. If the college is successful, Wang hopes to found similar initiatives in China.

Wang has also made donations to support the field of research in condensed-matter physics at the University of California, Berkeley by sponsoring the American Physical Society’s Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize. Wang and her husband, Wen Chi Chen (the CEO of VIA Technologies) also provide funding support to the Berkeley-Tsinghua Program, a collaborative program between the psychology departments at UC Berkeley and Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. She has also donated HTC tablets to high schools in Taipei.

Wang’s husband is the wealthiest man in Taiwan according to Forbes. The couple have two children. Wang has stated that she tries to stay out of the limelight but often finds it difficult due to her many accomplishments. She proves that hard-working women also play a vital in the technological industry.