While the consumer movement was popular in economically advanced countries between 1965 and 1975, developing countries were not yet ready for such issues. The consumers in these countries, due to their economic, social, and political environments, were not aware of their rights. Taiwan was a typical case. Three main reasons contributed to the ignorance of the Taiwanese consumers at the advent of the worldwide consumer movement. First, in its early years, Taiwan was basically an agricultural society. The primary industry and its commodities made product differentiation impossible. It was nature, and not human beings that decided the quality andor quantity of the products produced for the market. Everyday products were simple and few, and the choice between products, easy. Secondly, it was not until the 1960's that Taiwan turned slowly from an importoriented economy to that of an exportoriented economy. Raising tariffs and controlling the importation of products were necessary to protect local businesses from foreign competition. Thus, the rights of consumers were sacrificed. Lastly, the very nature of the Chinese e.g., psychological profile, led them to endure the suffering of any mistreatment. They would avoid a direct confrontation on any dispute. Therefore, organized activities against businesses was not possible. All of these reasons made the consumer movement unheard of in Taiwan during the 1960s.
Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal incorporating Journal of Global Competitiveness – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 1, 1998