'Asian Nobel prizes' launched by Taiwan businessman

Samuel Yin Samuel Yin's personal fortune is estimated to be in excess of 100bn Taiwanese dollars ($3.4bn; £2.1bn)

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A Taiwanese businessmen has put up more than 3bn Taiwanese dollars ($103m; £65m) to establish what are being dubbed the "Asian Nobel prizes".

The Tang Prize Foundation is being set up by Samuel Yin, who heads a business empire that invests heavily in China.

It will offer prizes of 50m Taiwanese dollars for advances in sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, China studies, and "rule of law".

Mr Yin said he had chosen subjects not covered by the five Nobel prizes.

"I hope that the prize will encourage more research that is beneficial to the world and humankind, promote Chinese culture, and make the world a better place," he added.

The first Tang prizes would be awarded every two years, beginning in 2014, a statement from the foundation said.

Nominations are open to all countries.

The prize money given to winners, equivalent to around $1.7m, makes them more lucrative than the 118-year-old Nobel prizes, which reward winners with $1.2m in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace.

The prizes are named after China's Tang dynasty, which ruled more than 1,000 years ago and was known for its cultural and scientific achievements.

Mr Yin, 62, is the head of the Ruentex business empire, and has invested heavily in Chinese education in recent years.

In the early 1990s, he set up the Guanhua School of Management at Peking University in Beijing, and has also funded tuition programmes for Chinese students.

His personal fortune is estimated to be in excess of 100bn Taiwanese dollars ($3.4bn; £2.1bn), and he has pledged to give away 95% of it.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    @Herbie, so according to you, he should give up his wealth to those exploited workers so that you and other western consumers can keep enjoying cheap goods and services? Now who is the slave master here.

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    This is excellent, he has specifically targeted area's that compliment the existing Nobel prize. These kind of contests can be very powerful ways of giving good people more influence and raising the profile of good work. As for the topics sustainable development, bio-pharma and rule of law fantastic, China studies a bit ego centric and inward looking. Why not Chinese citizen of the year?

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    Remarkable philantrophy. Commendable charity. The guy himself is worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize. Hopefully he does not asked a certain dunderhead TJ to overseer the Tang Prize Award. It could very well be that the 1st receipient of the Tang Prize for International Relations could be BHO.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    Amounts to a self-promoting tax-dodge to a man of his wealth...

    The annual interest on his £4BN fortune covers this wheeze...Non-story BBC... Suggest you Ditch this Dead Donkey!

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    What happened to the esteemed Confucius Peace Prize set up by the People's Republic of China a few years ago?


Comments 5 of 17


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