Rico Shen [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5 tw], via Wikimedia Commons
February 6, 2016; Focus Taiwan News Channel

The Yulon Group, Taiwan’s largest automaker, pledged on Saturday to donate NT$10 million (US$300,000) toward recovery and rescue efforts following a major earthquake which hit the island earlier in the morning.

The 6.4 magnitude quake occurred at 03:57am local time, with its epicenter 43 km southeast of Tainan and 23 km below the surface, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). A 17-story building was toppled in the Yungkang district, leaving at least 12 dead and raising questions over the structural integrity of the edifice. Several hundred people were reported injured. Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau reports that at least five aftershocks of over 3.8 magnitude took place around 30 minutes after the first quake.

After hearing of the calamity, Kenneth Yen (嚴凱泰), chairman of the Yulon Group, gave instructions for financial assistance to be provided to those in need. (Incorporated in 1953, the Yulon Group assembles, manufactures, and markets vehicles under the brands of Luxgen, Mitsubishi and Nissan.) The company explained that its contribution demonstrated its concerns for the victims of the quake, and expressed its hope for the affected communities to see a rapid recovery from the disaster and many homes soon rebuilt.

The large car-making corporation has a long history of philanthropic activity in the region and regularly contributes to disaster recovery efforts; for example, the company donated to water park burn victims in July 2015.

In addition, Acer Inc., one of Taiwan’s largest personal computer brands, also announced NT$1 million (US$30,000) would be put towards the recovery efforts, expressing their shock at receiving news of the quake’s impact. The computer company stated that it plans to work with charities and government agencies in the affected regions to minimize the waiting time for their funds to reach those people in need.

Acer explained that it believes one of its roles and responsibilities in society is to contribute to the relief work, a position that clearly reflects some of the newer understandings of corporate social responsibility. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been debated since the early twentieth century, but disagreement over its precise definition has persisted for several reasons, including national and cultural differences in business mindset, mismatching motivations for CSR, and academic discussion across a plenary of disciplines.—James Araci