Tiktok, a short-form video platform developed by the Chinese company ByteDance, has become the subject of public discussions on information security. The Ministry of Digital Affairs on December 5 banned the public sector from using it. Legislator Luo Mei-ling stated on December 12 that TikTok can still be browsed from the Internet at the Legislative Yuan and questioned whether executive agencies are synchronized in complying with the new regulations. Responding to interpellation, Secretary-General Lee Meng-yen of the Executive Yuan stated that he will coordinate with the other four branches of government to follow suit. Spokesman Luo Ping-cheng of the Executive Yuan stated that civil servants who violate the ban will be disciplined according to regulations.
According to the latest regulations of the Ministry of Education (MOE), starting from January 1, 2024, if elementary and junior high school instructors would like to advise students to participate in a science exhibition, they must first take a three-hour academic ethics class, triggering strong protest by teachers. They question why the MOE is asking elementary and junior high school teachers to share the responsibility after multiple thesis plagiarism scandals and academic ethics violations involving students that Director-General Chen Ming-tong of the National Security Bureau advised when he taught at the Graduate Institute of National Development, National Taiwan University. It is like requiring everyone to attend traffic classes after someone broke traffic rules and got into a car accident.
The Hsiung Sheng missile, also known as the Hsiung Feng IIE cruise missile, is currently included in a special budget for enhancing naval and air combat power and being produced, but the military has not disclosed its performance. In an oral history interview, Kung Chia-cheng, a lieutenant general who retired from the Navy and former president of the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, revealed for the first time that the missile has a range of 1,000 kilometers. During a test simulation, it directly hit China's inland, and its range far exceeds Taiwan's original expectations. The United States was surprised when Taiwan independently developed the supersonic cruise missile.
One of the locations of the recent major shooting incident in Xuejia District, Tainan, is a factory that the company of Kuo Chai-chin, a member of the Central Executive Committee of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), has sold. The company was also involved in another case involving the unlawful of nearly 680,000 tons of slag, which made illegal profits of some NT$2.1 billion (about US$68 million). After three years of investigation, the Tainan District Prosecutor's Office charged eight people including Kuo on December 12 for violating the Waste Disposal Act. Kuo issued a statement on December 14 resigning from the Central Executive Committee of the DPP.
The Central Bank announced an interest rate hike of 0.125 percentage point, the fourth consecutive rate increase. Its purpose is to combat inflation expectations and stabilize prices.
Regarding Taiwan's economic performance, the Central Bank expects domestic economic growth to cool down and revised the economic growth rate next year down to 2.53 percent, lower than the 2.90 percent forecast in September.
A magnitude 6.2 earthquake occurred off the coast of Hualien at noon. The Central Weather Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications, indicated that there have been 12 earthquakes, including this one, with a magnitude of 6 or above this year, a new high after the devastating September 21 earthquake in 1999.
Hsinchu Mayor-Elect and Taiwan People's Party (TPP) Legislator Kao Hung-an is facing allegations that she made fraudulent payroll deductions from the salaries designated for legislative assistants. On December 15, the Taipei District Prosecutor's Office searched Kao's legislative office and home and brought Kao from Hsinchu to Taipei for interrogation. After more than 19 hours of late-night interrogation, the prosecution ordered a bail of NT$600,000 (about US$19,476) for corruption and document forgery in the early morning of December 16.
Many Hsinchu residents waited outside the Taipei District Prosecutor's Office in protest and held signs reading "Judicial Oppression." On the afternoon of December 16, the flag of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was hung on the top floor of the prosecutorial office, implying that the agency has become an organ of the DPP. Officials immediately removed the flag.
Chief Executive Officer CC Wei of the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) made a rare warning on December 17 that export controls and banning products from other foreign countries destroy productivity and efficiency gained under globalization, or at least they reduce benefits offered by a free market. Since the benefits of globalization have been distorted, he urged politicians to offer solutions.