Keeping in touch in Taiwan is easy given the country's fast and reliable internet, while ADSL lines are also reliable.
The media industry is free and highly competitive, with an abundance of radio, cable television and newspaper choices, including English-medium sources.
Mobile phones in Taiwan
Foreigners can sign contracts with mobile phone companies, although the actual documentation required will differ between companies. Some companies will allow an expat to sign a contract if they pay for a year in advance, while others will only allow an expat to sign a contract with a Taiwanese person as a guarantor.
Generally, expats will only need their Alien Registration Certificate (ARC), but some companies may ask for additional identification, such as a passport or ID. A deposit is also often required. Braving the process of getting a mobile phone contract is usually worth it, as prepaid options, while available, are generally more expensive in the long run.
Some mobile companies and contracts offer discounted rates in the evenings or to other phones on the same network. It is a good idea for expats to compare packages from different companies to find one that best suits their needs.
LINE is an instant messaging app popular in Japan, Taiwan and Thailand. Although familiar alternatives like WhatsApp, WeChat and Telegram are also used, LINE is the most popular in Taiwan. LINE also has a few additional features, including a mobile payment service and a music streaming service.
Internet in Taiwan
Taiwan's communications infrastructure is excellent, and internet connections are generally fast and reliable. The internet isn't censored in Taiwan and social networking sites, as well as instant messaging services, are available and unregulated.
There's an abundance of internet cafés, and most coffee shops and restaurants provide free WiFi. In Taipei, the city provides a free WiFi service at MRT stations and in some other public spaces. Public telephone booths in the streets also offer WiFi.
English media in Taiwan
There's an abundance of cable television channels in Taiwan, as well as five free-to-air television networks. Cable is popular due to the low subscription rates. The free-to-air channels and most subscription channels are in Taiwanese or Mandarin, with only a handful of English channels. That said, many Western programmes are screened in the original language with Chinese subtitles, so expats will probably find there's always something to watch.
There are several English-language newspapers and news sites in Taiwan. The China Post, Taipei Times and The News Lens are some of the most well-known English newspapers in Taiwan, while Taiwan News is a popular website featuring local news.
►For an overview of living in the country, read Moving to Taiwan
►Find out about other expats' insights about life on this Asian island in Expat Experiences in Taiwan
Are you an expat living in Taiwan?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Taiwan. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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