TAIPEI 101 receives more than 1 million travelers and visitors from around the world each year and as such, it is a vital window of exchange between Taiwan and the rest of the world. Therefore, we perceive the development of the value of Taiwanese and facilitation of exchanges to be our key missions as we strive to create a stage for local social enterprises and cultural creativity businesses to shine whilst delivering outstanding tourism and smart experience for foreign guests that we receive on a daily basis. At the same time, we actively vie for international honors and recognitions as a means to increase the international exposure for Taiwan in different areas. Through the highest platform of TAIPEI 101, we will not only present Taiwan to the world but also enable Taiwan to have a full view of the world.
Material issues addressed in this chapter include corporate image, platform of collaboration and exchange for industries, government and academia, cultural creativity and charity promotion, and smart service experience. This chapter will begin with an overview of the international honors and recognitions that TAIPEI 101 has received, as well as our achievements in the domain of facilitating collaboration and exchange for industries, government and academia.We will then explain our involvements and performance in marketing Taiwan and the promotion of social enterprises and the cultural creativity businesses to highlight the values that TAIPEI 101 is capable of creating as a platform of exchange.
Ever since its completion, TAIPEI 101 has always been a focal point for various domestic media. As Taiwan's highest tourist attraction and the embodiment of Taiwan's image, we have been diligently at work to fulfill our corporate social responsibilities. Our success is not only reflected through our operational profits but also boosted Taiwan's international exposure.
Ever since its completion, TAIPEI 101 has received an assortment of accolades and recognitions from the media around the world, including: "a miracle of architecture", "the world's toughest building", "one of the most beautiful sky scrapers of the w orld", "top ten eco-friendly offices around the w orld" and so forth. In 2016, TAIPEI 101 has once again delivered outstanding performance by winning the Global View Monthly Magazine's Environmental Friendly Exemplar Award domestically and the Green Leadership Award from AREA internationally. Not only that, TAIPEI 101 has also become the world's first LEED v4 supertall building to receive the Platinum Certification with the highest score (90) ever awarded thus far.
In 2016, TAIPEI 101 received the LEED v4 O+M (Operations & Maintenance) certification – the world's most prestigious and strictest international green building standard from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) with the highest score (90 points) ever awarded, making TAIPEI 101 the world's first (and Taiwan's only) LEED v4 supertall building to receive the Platinum Certification. Being accredited to the e ven more stringent LEED v4 O+M Certific ation speaks volumes to TAIPEI 101's commitment to supporting sustainable development in Taiwan after receiving the LEED Certification for the first time in 2011. For more information, please refer to Chapter 3.1.1 Results of Green Building Upgrade.
TAIPEI 101 emerged as the winner in the hotly contested Corporate Sustainability Awards hosted by the Global Views Monthly Magazine 2016 and received the Environmental Friendly Exemplar Award as the first service oriented enterprise to ever win the award. According to the panelists, as the tallest building in Taiwan, TAIPEI 101 had been actively involved in various green actions that carried iconic significance. Not only that, since TAIPEI 101's operation features both commercial and tourism related characteristics and as such, the feasibility of such actions demonstrated by TAIPEI 101 could encourage more business proprietors to follow suit.
The Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Awards (AREA) was initiated by Enterprise Asia (a non-governmental organization) in 2006. In 2016, mor e than 300 ent erprises across Asia from 28 nations applied for the award. For TAIPEI 101's support of renewable energy development, mitigation of environmental impact from its operation, adoption of the Nature Valley, promotion of environmental education and so forth, TAIPEI 101 was chosen as the first Taiwanese enterprise to receive the Green Leadership Award. Incidentally, the award has also created an opportunity for TAIPEI 101 to collaborate with Asia Pacific International Property on the creation of green buildings.
With 132 applications, the Council on Tall Building and Urban Habitat announced the winners of its CTBUH 2016 Tall Building Awards with 11 skyscrapers from 8 cities of Taipei, Shanghai, New York, Singapore, Nicosia, Beirut, Wuhan and San Francisco. Among the winners, TAIPEI 101 was the only entry to deliver continuous improvement in the promotion of green energy and sustainable development and has thus been given the Performance Award from the panel.
Being well aware of the unique role we play in Taiwan, TAIPEI 101 has engaged itself with industries, government and acade mic institutions in different collaboration plans by functioning as a platform in order to interact and work with our p artners. Utilizing TAIPEI 101's char acteristic height, we were able to amplify the exposure on the efforts and commitment from various parties. In the future, we shall stay true to our spirit and actively seek out ollaboration with interested parties so that TAIPEI 101 could become a window for the world to catch a glimpse of Taiwan and better understand this land of ours through the pla tform of TAIPEI 101.
In order to promote sports and exercise, TAIPEI 101 has been organizing the annual international run up races since 2005. The theme of the 2016 TAIPEI 101 International Run-Up w as "Light Up Y our Dream on the Glob al Stage" and the event attracted more than 4,500 participants from 32 countries around the world. In an effort to encourage and cultivate local athletes to participate in the event and establish their presence on the international stage, TAIPEI 101 sponsored three students from rural townships in 2016 to take part in the race in Taipei so that these athletes with promising potentials could have an opportunity to take part in international events at a young age. Hopefully such exposure would benefit the development of their career as a thletes.
The "2016 CTBC‧TAIPEI 101 International Run-Up" is one of the Tower Running World Cup circuit events for the Tower Running World Association and as such, it is the best stage for the top run-up athletes from around the world to shine. Not only that, the participation of the following special teams in the e vent has accomplished the objective of facilitating interaction and exchange between multiple parties. The overall cost for the event came to approximately NT$ 5.14 million.
In order to accelerate smart upgrade and accomplish the objectives of energy sustainability and smart management, TAIPEI 101 has signed an MOU with Siemens to become the first enterprise in Taiwan to adopt the company's latest building energy and sustainability platform – Siemens Navigator in 2016. For detailed information, please refer to 3.1.2 on Environmental Protection Mechanism.
Ever since the first Internaional Shopping Festival was held at TAIPEI 101 in 2015, the event had created substantial buzz, with as many as 12 in ternational credit card organizations and banks actively involving themselves in the event to offer incredible deals and discounts in 2016. Four major international credit card organizations (UnionPay, VISA, MASTER, American Express) along with mobile payment ser vice operators such as Alipay, WeChat Pay and banks including Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of Communications, China Merchants Bank and CTBC Bank have collaborated to offer special cash-back offers for foreign visitors compleing any transaction with credit card issued by any of the aforementioned organizations between September 19 through December 31 in 2016. The special promotion has successfully caught the attention of visitors and prompted them to make various purchases and transactions at TAIPEI 101.
Starting from 2016, TAIPEI 101 has collaborated with Princess Cruise–a global leading brand in cruise ship operations under the tagline of "A Day with the Princess at TAIPEI 101" as a warm-up event for both parties. Initially, the collaboration involved special concessions on obser vator y admission and product discounts for Princess Cruise crew members and passengers. In 2016, a total of 1,239 discount vouchers were redeemed and the figure reflected the level of enthusiasm shown by the cruise passengers in visiting Taipei City once their vessel was moored at the port. As such, the passengers from the cruise ships could become a new source of vitality for the domestic tourism sector. The cruise ship stopped in Taiwan for more than 101 days, setting a new record for the longest stop made in Taiwan by Princess Cruise.
Held at the 2F skyway inside TAIPEI 101 Mall, the 2016 FNO Fashion Forward event collaborated with "the World Design Capital Taipei 2016" campaign organized by Taipei City Government's Department of Cultural Affairs to feature the works by Taiwan's new design talents who were invited to 2016 A/W Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival in Berlin so as to stay true to the spirit of "FASHION FORWARD" by enabling new talents to showcase their creative works. Through creativities in fashion, design, technology and the momentum for digital innovation, we shall inject the driving force of fashion and creativity into Taipei, thereby enabling the city to be deserving of the slogan "Taipei in Design – Design in Taipei".
The annual VOGUE Fashion Night Out (FNO) saw its 8th iteration in 2016, with a total of 20 cities around the world being in volved inthe event. " FASHION FORWARD " was the theme for the FNO event for Taiwan in 2016, and TAIPEI 101 Mall played a vital role in this highly anticipated event. Inaddition to being one of the main venues for the FNO event, TAIPEI 101 also provided a plat form for the general public to better under stand and experience one of the world's most high-profile fashion events, with more than 2,000 members of the general public showing up at the venue to take part in the event. The event featured VR 360 panorama video capturing, thus enabling it to be streamed live for viewers online in real time. The 2016 FNO – Fashion Forward had 14,097 views on YouTube and 296,728 vie ws on Facebook, reaching out to a total of 2,400,788 viewers.
Held at the northern plaza of TAIPEI 101 Mall, the opening show had broken free from the conventional show format for fashion events by integrating the fashion show with a party in order to achieve a trendy and avant-garde atmosphere for the celebration.
TAIPEI 101 is the representative of the government's international publicity. This is also why TAIPEI 101 has frequently played a role in Taiwan's diplomatic affairs, including the receiving of international dignitaries and the promotion of Taiwan's beauty and local culture. At the same time, in order to make these foreign dignitaries and visitors feel right at home, we have been constantly working on the improvement of TAIPEI 101's int ernational services.
The Department of Tourism and Information has planned several tours of Taipei City for diplomatic missions in Taiwan to learn about the city in greater depth in an effort to facilitate inter-city tourism and resident exchange. With a solid grasp on the marketing strategies that the Tourism Bureau and the Department of Tourism and Information have developed to promote international tourism, TAIPEI 101 has been actively collaborating with other nations to provide better ser vices to international tourists. In addition, we have also organized relevant thematic events in conjunction with festive celebrations, such as the pr omotion of travel exhibitions, organize international photography contests, memorial wine exhibitions and so forth to attract tourists from respective countries.
In June 2016, TAIPEI 101 collaborated with Trade Office of Swiss Industries and jointly hosted the "Switzerland at TAIPEI 101: When Innovation meets Beauty exhibition. The exhibition" showcased the representative works in the domains of technology, art installation, engineering and machinery and presented an opportunity for members of general public to embark on a journey of discovery and witness the creative capacities of Switzerland. The exhibition featured the Switzerball installation art that was shown at EXPO 2015 in Milan. Through the movement of a metallic ball, the art presented the features of Swiss culture and tourism. Relevant descriptions on the Solar Impulse, the Gotthard Tunnel and the Birdly flights imulator were also available at the exhibition.
Taking on a brand new look, the "2017 TAIPEI 101 New Year Fireworks " featured the first combined display of projection lightingand fireworks. The performance involved the use of 800 moving lights coupled with primarily golden colored fireworks that lasted for 238 seconds. A total of 20,000 shells were fired in conjunction with the display of 800 moving lights to light up Taiwan in magnificent style. For the 2017 TAIPEI 101 New Year Fireworks, TAIPEI 101 collaborated with the Department of Information and Tourism. The event was jointly sponsored by MOEA’s Bureau of Foreign Trade along with 10 private enterprises with the theme of "Light Up Taiwan". It is worth mentioning that the Near Year show was a purely domestic production – the project was headed by Giant Show (a company that has worked with TAIPEI 101 on several occasions in the past) with the expertise of Chuang Fu-Min, a Taiwanese lighting designer who is renowned in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. The music that accompanied the fireworks was produced once again by GCA Entertainment and performed by Taipei Symphony Orchestra. The event aptly utilized and demonstrated the talents and creativity that Taiwan has.
As a response to the government's new southbound policy, the Department of Information and Tourism had utilized the outer wall on the north side of TAIPEI 101 to display the greeting of "Welcome to Taiwan" in six different languages (Malay, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese, Filipino, English and Chinese) with laser projection as a way to greet visitors from different countries starting from 6PM on December 31, 2015. It was also the first time for TAIPEI 101 to put the LED wall that was installed on 59F and 60F to use.
In addition to signaling the beginning of a new year through the firework display, TAIPEI 101 has also endeavored to mitigate the impact that our event has on the environment. The projectors used for the fireworks show emitted a total of 3,697.70kg of CO2, whereas the fireworks emitted a total of 5,931.61kg of CO2. The total carbon emission for the event came to approximately 9,629.31 kg of CO2
In order to offset the carbon emission as a result of the fireworks, we have turned off our exterior lights of the office tower for a total of 11 days (from Januar y 2 through Januar y 12, 2017) as our way of fulfilling our corporate social responsibilities by reducing power consumption and carbon emission.
Taipei City operated only 15 PM2.5 detection stations, which were mostly set up at locations such as schools, public buildings and roadside, with heights no higher than 12-15 meters off ground level. The function of such detectors is to monitor the quality of air in the general environment where the general populace carry out their day-to-day activities or quality of air in the traffic heavy areas.
In an effort to strengthen the monitoring of air pollution in Taipei City, TAIPEI 101 collaborated with Taipei City Government’s Department of Environmental Protection in 2016 in order to take advantage of TAIPEI 101's physical height by installing PM2.5 detectors on 6F, 50F and 90F in order to better capture the distribution and concentration of PM2.5 from a vertical cross-section perspective. The installation of these detectors has improved upon Taipei City’s existing air pollution monitoring system by capturing data that would serve as important references in the establishment of air pollution improvement policies and measures and ultimately improve the quality of the living environment for the gneral populace.
TAIPEI 101 participated in the Innovative Entrepreneurship Platform operated by NCCU and commissioned the NCCU Innovation Team to develop the "TAIPEI 101 Green Building" environmental protection tour APP. The development team from NCCU not only incorporated elements of Chinese culture into the APP's design but also provided multilingual (in 8 different languages) options as a way to tell the world about the effort that TAIPEI 101 has put forth in order to receive the LEED v4 Platinum Certification for supertall buildings while highlighting the contributions that Taiwan has made in the area of environmental protection and sustainability. This collaboration not only enabled TAIPEI 101 to develop innovative technologies for the tourism industry but also helped the students involved to cultivate the competence that they would need to enter employment, thereby demonstrating the values that TAIPEI 101 could provide to different organizations by functioning as the highest platform for exchange. In 2017, the TAIPEI 101 Green Building APP was also featured at the Smart City Summit & Expo and attracted approximately 500 visitors to experience the APP first hand.
Shouldering extremely high expectations from the citizens of Taiwan, TAIPEI 101 has gladly taken on the responsibility of functioning as the medium for the people to reach out to the rest of the world. And as such, the management has endeavored to redefine the role of TAIPEI 101 as an era-defining architecture by expanding the definition of "green" to include "inclusiveness" and "growth" while officially establishing "The World's Highest Charity Platform" in 2016. By doing so, TAIPEI 101 will not merely be a green building; it would become a platform that contributes more to the society on the whole with proactive values and the highest platform of charity in the world for disadvantaged minorities and those in need.
We hope that TAIPEI 101 could become a charity platform that disadvantaged minorities and charity/welfare organizations can participate in and benefit from. In addition to pooling the intangible yet substantial power and warmth from our 12,000 tenants, shopping mall and observatory consumers and other involved entities through proactive matchmaking strategies with clearly-defined objectives, we have also created a resource matchmaking platform website to connect all organizations with needs for specific resources and enterprises that have the capacity to deliver resources. By matching the supplies to the demands, the platform helps all parties involved to cherish various resources available through the pooling of charitable resources so that we can re-cycle and re-use available resources infinitely.
To ensure that all resources are put to good use, TAIPEI 101 has donated all sorts of items, including 670 surveillance cameras, 42 video recorders, and even the decors that were used during special festive promotions at the shopping mall and 36 units of street lights that endured numerous typhoons in recent years. Those street lights shone again and brought light to Happy Mount Colony, illuminating the way for the children at the colony.
In addition to operating as the world's highest platform for charity, TAIPEI 101 also collaborates with other external charity platforms in order to achieve synergy that makes "1+1 > 2" by extending the benevolent act of materials donation to all corners of our society.
To achieve higher service quality, adjustments in our operation led to the inevitable replacement of all brand new toilet roll holders at TAIPEI 101. Due to the scale of TAIPEI 101 Tower, all material purchases would naturally involve significant quantities. A total of 738 stainless toilet roll holders had to be replaced and we have made much deliberation in order to seek appropriate arrangements for these resources. After posting about the situation on various charity platforms, all the toilet roll holders had found their new owners. They were donated to 20 different social welfare organizations across Taiwan, with Hang-An Nursing Home in Taipei, all the way south to LY Foundation in Kaohsiung and Haocha Church in Pingtung, with overwhelming positive response from the recipients.
In order to ensure optimal arrangement and use for all resources available, TAIPEI 101 has dona ted the 1:1 sc ale F1 race car model tha t has been in s torage at the basement parking lot for the past 7 years to NTU's Department of Mechanical Engineering in 2016. Apart from using the model for demonstration and teaching purposes, NTU students from the department were also looking forward to modifying the model and turning it into a drivable race car. The donation has certainly set a fine example of corporate donation to ensure that resources are put tso good use.
Recipients of children's books include:
In November 2016, TAIPEI 101 leveraged its iconic status as a landmark and collaborated with Taiwan Toy Library Association by pooling the resources of all tenants and employees to gather approximately 1,200 second-hand books within a month thr ough charitable donation. The v olume was equivalent to the total amount of books that the Taiwan Toy Library Association has collected in the previous year. Recipients of the children's books included five schools and a church in the remote areas and hopefully the donation would help to close the learning gap between students in rural and urban areas in Taiwan. Fifteen employees from TAIPEI 101 volunteered to sort out the donated books while another 7 employees visited the designated areas to deliver the books. In order to encourage our staffs to continue their voluntary participation, TAIPEI 101 has offered special leaves for voluntary work performed. In January 2017, TAIPEI 101 Chairman Te-yu Chou and President Shih-ming Chen led the company's top ranking supervisors on a visit to Guang Hwa Primary School and Kui-Hui Elementary School in Fuxing District of Taoyuan City so that they could not only read to the students but also spend quality time with them playing with various toys. As a present, we also gave each and every student a stationery set (the bestselling product at TAIPEI 101 observatory) so that those students who would rarely have the opportunity to visit Taipei may get to learn more about TAIPEI 101.
Since 2011, the World Citizen Cultural Association has been organizing the " W. Island, Traveling with a MissionZ" charity project for youths on a yearly basis. The project involves the selection of more than 100 outstanding youths between the age of 20~26 to travel to more than 100 nations across the globe to visit leaders around the world and discuss key issues that Taiwan will inevitably face in the near future, thereby completing their "Journey with a Mission".
In 2016, W.Island offered its first invitation to students from 503 senior and vocational high schools across Taiwan to visit the 368 townships in Taiwan while embarking on specific learning missions under six major themes of green energy, cultural creativity, tourism, education, ecology and agriculture in order to help the students gain in-depth understanding of what each township in Taiwan truly needs. As a sponsor, TAIPEI 101 seeks to redefine itself that would enable us to be connected to all townships in Taiwan so that we could become a bridge that allows these townships to be connected to the world. In addition to monetary donation, TAIPEI 101 also offers additional support for the project, such as the "TAIPEI 101 Creativity Award", "TAIPEI 101 Building Creative Model License" and venues including Gallery 101 and Conference Room. Not only that, we also assisted with the development of promotional pamphlets and materials for the exhibition. In total, TAIPEI 101 inv ested NT$ 200,000 in the project.
TAIPEI 101 not only frequently collaborates with the government tom market Taiwan to foreign guests, but has also taken up the task of marketing Taiwan as our own mission. As such, we have striven to transform TAIPEI 101 into a platform and stage for local social enterprises and cultural creativity businesses so that we can present more valuable Taiwanese brands to the rest of the world.
The contribution to social charity from enterprises has received significant attention around the world. Here in Taiwan, social enterprises that have been established to resolve specific social issues have emerged as the latest trend. As the iconic landmark of Taiwan, TAIPEI 101 has set high standards for ourselves to become the world's highest platform for charity so that we can help outstanding local brands of social enterprises that devote themselves to charity to shine on the international stage. By working hand in hand with our tenants, we are committed to presenting these wonderful local products from Taiwan to more consumers. In an effort to promote social enterprise in 2016, we have organized a series of events as continuation of last year's activities so as to keep the momentum going.
To demonstrate the height and depth that is expected of Taiwan's iconic landmark and to advance towards sustainable operation so that we may fulfill our corporate social responsibilities, TAIPEI 101 has sought to promote the concept of social enterprise in 2016 through the promotion of "Love・Fair" charity event.
This year, TAIPEI 101 has once again worked with KPMG in Taiwan in the organization of the 4th "Love・Fair" charity event. We invited 13 sheltered workshops, social enterprises and a welfare organization to set up their booths. 10 brands from the shopping mall also donated 17 merchandize for the charity event. At the same time, specialty food and handicrafts, such as handmade cookies, jams, soap, leather goods, stationeries and so forth made by members of disadvantaged organizations were sold at the booths at the opening ceremony, which drew almost 1,000 participants to raise fund for welfare organizations. In the end, the event raised a total of NT$ 165,567, which was donated in full to the Chinese Association of Early Intervention Profession. We hope that future "Love・Fair" events would snowball like good will and attract more social enterprises to take part so that we could create more hope for Taiwan.
Last year, the shopping mall collaborated with tenant "Tales" in the planning of TAIPEI 101 Charity Platform, which presented products from social enterprises including Tales, Cha Tzu Tang, Shangi, Hows Food in the format of a curated exhibition. In order to extend the effects and benefits of the involvement, when the exhibition ended, TAIPEI 101 made a special arrangement with Jason's Market (B1), which would carry the featured products for distribution so that tenants and customers could purchase products from various social enterprises directly at the market.
Our passion for social enterprise is not limited to short-term activities. In fact, we are looking forward to becoming business partners with social enterprises. As such, we have signed a MOU with our tenants to adopt fair trade agricultural products from local social enterprises. Our tenants Diamond Tony's 101 Authentic Italian Cuisine and Shinyeh 101 on 85F have both adopted fair trade products and attempted to redesign their menus with food and ingredients from local social enterprises to offer healthy set meals prepared, with social enterprise agricultural products. Hopefully with our full passion, we can work with outstanding local social enterprises in Taiwan in order to create more value for quality local products as they get the opportunity to shine at TAIPEI 101. By adding value to these products, we shall inject "gung ho" energy to the society and make Taiwan and the rest of the world a better place!
In terms of developing the value and brand of Taiwan, we have also been actively promoting Taiwan's cultural creativity business as we hope that through TAIPEI 101's international exposure and influence, we will be able to promote cultural creative industries to the global stage.
TAIPEI 101 has set up the Gallery 101 and Space of Culture & Creativity at the office tower and shopping mall respectively so that local artists from Taiwan would be able to engage in dialog with the world through the stage.
Given that the throughput volume at TAIPEI 101 exceeds 20,000 per year, we enjoy significant exposure and as a passionate supporter of cultural creative business promotion, TAIPEI 101 converted the space on 1F of the office tower into Gallery 101 in an effort to add a dash of cultural and artistic atmosphere to the building while showcasing the beauty of Taiwanese art work to the tenants and foreign visitors alike.
In December 2016, TAIPEI 101 organized a Christmas Market together with Bureau Français de Taipei and Office de Tourisme de Strasbourg so that the general public may have an opportunity to learn more about the traditional food and cultures as well as the handmade crafts from Strasbourg. Through a series of related events, TAIPEI 101 also promoted local and French cultures and artistic creativity.
In order to help more tourists and visitors get to know Taiwan's cultural creative industry and cultures, TAIPEI 101 has created the "New Space for Culture & Creativity" adjacent to the observatory ticket vending booth on 5F. Occupying more than 200 ping in area, the brands and products featured in this space and are distinctly different from typical consumer products. The products showcased here emphasize their connection with the Chinese culture and embody the meaning of cultural heritage. These offerings are from 10 major brand names in cultural creativity, including Franz Collection Inc., Liuligongfang, Acera, Lin's Ceramic Studio, Fushankodo, Royal Palace, Chullery, Tales, Fenice Jewelry and Small Town Stories. Given that TAIPEI 101 Mall receives more than 10 million visitors per year, the "New Space for Culture & Creativity" will help introduce the beautiful traditions and qualities of Taiwan and the potential and spirit of innovative design to the general public and foreign visitors alike.
In order to celebrate the new year, TAIPEI 101 has organized the "Beautiful Taiwan" Special Exhibition at the Urban Square on 4F of the shopping mall in February 2016. The exhibition featured three classics of TAIPEI 101: new year fireworks, images from the photography contest and commemorative wines and it set a new record in terms of exhibit quantity. In addition to presenting highlights from the new year fireworks that have accompanied the general public for the past 12 years so that local citizens and foreign visitors alike could reflect on the record of one of the world's finest fireworks show. Not only that, we also invited Taiwanese artists to draw and design the bottle for the commemorative wine.
12 years have passed since TAIPEI 101's completion in 2004, and the photography contest that focused on capturing this majestic landmark of Taiwan has reached its 11th iteration. With its exposure as an international landmark, TAIPEI 101 has continued to promote Taiwan's beautiful sceneries, cultures and creativity. We hope that in addition to the architecture itself, the participating photographers would be inspired to use different landscape and objects to present the beauty of different corners of Taiwan, so that more of Taiwan's special characteristics can be portrayed through their works.
One can easily catch a glimpse of art in the perimeters of TAIPEI 101. Works of public art we have established include "Infinite Life", "Light-up TAIPEI 101" illumina tion project and the automatic piano player in the office tower.
The strong and durable cable is the greatest contributor that enables the express elevator at TAIPEI 101 to ascend at an incredible speed of 1,010 meters per minute. In order to meet the highest standards of safety requirements, the steel cables have been fully replaced in accordance with specific schedules despite the limited wear and tear on them. In an effort to reduce waste, TAIPEI 101 has collaborated with Kang Mu-Xiang, the local master wood sculptor who is renowned for his works with driftwood, to create the world's first piece of artwork made with elevator cables in this concerted effort of creativity.
This piece of elevator cable artwork is none other than the "Infinite Life" that has been erected in front of the Xinyi Entrance of TAIPEI 101 and it has now become the "must-see" art piece for all visitors at TAIPEI 101. Crafted with steel cables that have transported 6.6 million visitors around the world, in the world's fastest elevator, the creative touches of Kang has overcome the daunting challenge of turning rigid steel into a malleable piece of eco-friendly art that is rich in vitality. Having created Infinite Life, the creator Kang Mu-Xiang has even been commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to craft Taiwan Ruyi – Infinite Life using steel cables from TAIPEI 101 to be presented to Karlsruhe in Germany as a gift to commemorate on the city's 300th anniversary.
Even before the completion of TAIPEI 101, we adopted Xinyi Square No. 21 (later renamed to Water Dance Square), which is located to the north of the construction site. We set up two pieces of public art (Dragon Feature – the Finale Show and Between Earth and Sky) in the square and it was a popular location for visitors to play with water during summers. However, the spacious square would often be empty during winters and nighttime. In light of this, the TAIPEI 101 initiated its "Light-up TAIPEI 101" illumination project. The multi-million project involved the replacement of roadside lamps and was the first large public art exhibition to have its exclusive lighting design. The initiative was intended to make the surrounding areas of TAIPEI 101 more appealing to the general public. We collaborated with a total of 10 brands (tenants of our office tower and shopping mall) for the project and successfully turned TAIPEI 101 into a window of fashion, art and design.
In order to create a romantic and pleasant atmosphere with music in the lobby of the office tower, TAIPEI 101 has set up a YAMAHA Disklavier (Piano Player) and invited emerging local musicians to perform between 12:15-13:00 on Monday of the 3rd week of each month in an effort to entertain employees of tenants at the office tower while alleviating their stress at work.
TAIPEI 101 is home of the world's fastest observatory deck elevator and the Infinity Sky area at the observatory to provide a unique and delightful experience for visitors around the w orld. At the same time, in or der to deliver quality ser vices that will make our international visitors feel right at home, we have been upgrading our shopping experience for foreign visitors on the whole. Through services such as tax-refund for large amounts, launch of our international VIP card and prestigious international VIP services, we are committed to bringing the most convenient and speedy shopping ser vices to all int ernational visitors at TAIPEI 101.
As an effort to create more tourism value for Taiwan, the Ministry of Finance has chosen Taiwan's most renowned landmark – TAIPEI 101 as the first designated location to provide tax refund for large amounts with the launch of the new tax refund system in 2016. Small amount t ax refund was already available at TAIPEI 101 and now that TAIPEI 101 has become the designated commercial proprietor for the service, we would also be able to process applications for large amount tax refund (i.e. transactions exceeding NT$ 24,000) on premise in addition to small amount tax refund.
At the same time, TAIPEI 101 launched its electronic tax refund service, which features an electronic queue calling system at the service counter so that customers can enjoy more versatility with their arrangement of waiting time. Not only that, we have also incorporated an electronic signature board and a receipt barcode scanner along with virtual storage space. These new features not only help shorten the tax refund processing time but also improve the accuracy of data input and cuts down the storage space for printed receipt and paper use. In 2016, we saved approximately 125,000 sheets of A4 photocopy paper and the average processing time for a tax refund application for a customer fell between 4~5 minutes. The expedited process has dramatically reduced the overall waiting time for all customers.
The observatory at TAIPEI 101 is equipped with a pair of the world's fastest express elevators that are capable of ascending at a speed of 1,010 meters per minute. It only requires 37 seconds for the elevator to reach the observatory at 89F from 5F. Even if you were taking the elevator from B1, it would still take just 39 seconds to reach the observatory. In addition to being the fastest elevators in the world, the two elevators also happen to be the only two of its kind to be equipped with technologies such as a pressure-regulating system in the shuttles, damper and high-temperature resistant ceramic braking system and so forth. Complete with an impressive collection of high-technology, the express elevators deservedly earned the praise as "one of 12 elevators you need to see to believe" from CNN.
TAIPEI 101 completed its renovation project to remove enclosure (at knee height) to be replaced by large French windows for a true 360-degree view. Not only that, the northeast corner of the observatory also featured a special "Infinity Sky" area – the W-shaped corner had both the ceiling and floor built using glass panes. The reflections create an illusion of infinite space and visitors in the area would feel as if they were walking in the sky. The "Infinity Sky" has undoubtedly left a lasting impression of TAIPEI 101 on the visitors.
With the new tax refund policy promulgated by the Ministry of Finance, we have also taken the opportunity to make adjustments to various services we have designed for foreign visitors in order to make tax refund at TAIPEI 101 not only more convenient but also provide better benefits. Ever since the International VIP card was first introduced in September 2015, we have issued more than 25,000 cards at this point and with the new tax refund system in place on May 1, TAIPEI 101 has developed the electronic format for the International VIP Card so that foreign visitors only have to complete an online registration to obtain their mobile phone card. With the electronic card, visitors only have to show their mobile phone when making transactions to add the transaction amount to their total. Not only that, the card can also be used during tax refund to quickly locate the card holder's records and thereby saving time on the relevant paper work. For tourists whom every moment in Taipei counts, this service offers incredible convenience.
In light of the tight itineraries that have become more and more popular with business travelers from Europe/US and independent visitors from Asia, the observatory at TAIPEI 101 launched its special fast access service to help visitors save time on queuing by offering them the privilege of priority access to the observatory. Incidentally, other members of the WFGT, such as the Empire States Building in New York and Burj Khalifa in Dubai have adopted priority access value-added services in response to the latest market trends. Hopefully, through the service, TAIPEI 101 will offer more flexibility for visiting tourists in their itinerary planning as we improve upon our exquisite services for high-end tourists.
In response to the impact of digitization on the global tourism industry as a whole and the increasing number of tourists who own and use smart devices, we have integrated smart technologies with shopping so that customers may enjoy more convenient and exciting services.
With the rapid development of mobile pay and electronic payment, TAIPEI 101 has also made active deployment to support relevant payment services. In 2016, we have enabled the support f or CTBC Direct Pay, WeChat Pay and Jkos Pay to usher in a new era of diverse retail transactions.
CTBC has collaborated with TAIPEI 101 by announcing the launch of the "Direct Pay" ser vice at TAIPEI 101 Mall, thereby making TAIPEI 101 the first department store in Taiwan to accept payment from mobile wallet applications.
Presently at TAIPEI 101 Mall, more than 100 counters accept "Direct Pay" by electronic wallet, even including international designer brands such as PRADA and BURBERRY and other shops including teppanyaki, coffee shops and sushi-go-around.
Having received more than 1.35 million tourists from China last year, TAIPEI 101 has worked with the First Bank to become the first department store in Taiwan to support "WeChat Pay" (third-party payment platform from China) to enable Chinese tourists to experience easy-shopping for the finest boutique products. Approximately 80 brands at TAIPEI 101 joined the first wave of retailers to support WeChat Pay, including famous souvenir stores (i.e. Sugar & Spice, Hsin Sheng Fa, Hsin Tung Yang, TenRen's Tea) and international designer brands such as Prada, Burberry and so forth. Other brands are currently in the process of ne gotiation to adopt the service.
In order to enable tourists from different countries to conveniently use their preferred method of payment, TAIPEI 101 has also enabled payment by Jkos Pay and will seek to collaborate with other service payment providers for services often used by foreign visitors in order to provide internationalized services when it comes to mobile payment.
The "WOW 101 – Window of the World" is an augmented reality (AR) multi-screen interactive platform jointly developed by ARPlanet Digital Technology, the Department of Commerce and the Institute for Information Industry. The "WOW 101 – Window of the World" is located on B1 in the shopping mall. Customers can install the companion WOW 101 APP or simply use the interactive touch screen to play the AR interactive games, take photos, perform searches, share contents and even use the digital light-up feature to recreate the TAIPEI 101 lighting moments. WOW 101 not only enables our customers to enjoy a fun and pleasant shopping experience but also creates unique entertainment value and memories.
We have set up a tax refund service counter on B1 of the shopping mall in order to help foreign customers with tax refund service. To prevent customers from waiting too long in the line, we have incorporated a digital queue calling service that enables customers to draw their queue number and continue shopping or enjoy a meal at the food court instead of waiting in the line. By simply scanning the QR Code, customers will be able to find out the current number being ser ved and de termine their waiting time while enjoying the most out of their delightful shopping experience.
In order to provide a brand new physical distribution channel service, TAIPEI 101 Mall has incorporated the Beacon technology, which utilizes Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology and involves the installation of Beacon Bluetooth transmitters in approximately 300 locations throughout the shopping mall. When a smart device that supports Beacon technology enters the vicinity of a transmitter, the companion APP will prompt the user to connect to the signal network. By connecting to the ne twork, the Beacon would be able to send various instant messages (i.e. brand promotion, discounts, exclusive product information) through the companion APP to keep the customers updated on the latest product information at the shopping mall and inturn create more revenues for tenants.
In order to offer smart parking ser vices, we have added se veral systems such as the lic ense plate recognition system, parking space detection system and vehicle search system to our parking space on top of improving the resolution for the CCTV cameras and improving the speed of CCTV system toggling. When a customer drives into the parking lot, the license plate recognition system is capable of recording the license plate number in 2 seconds to increase the speed of vehicle entrance. The parking space detection system helps us to keep track of the remaining number of empty lots in the car park and guide customers to vacant lots quickly. When customers wish to retrieve their vehicles, they could go to any of the "Vehicle Search System" equipment installed in the parking lot to locate and obtain directions to their vehicles. The system has not only made the task of car locating easier but it also helps to increase parking lot turnover, which will in turn reduce carbon emission from vehicles in search for parking spaces.
The shopping mall has added the new feature of "Panorama View" on its official website. The feature enables customers to enjoy the decoration and displays of boutique shops from 1F to 5F as if they were physically present in the shopping mall.
We have incorporated the ideas of sustainable environment for our shopping mall by offering green services and changing our customers' consumption behavior so that we can achieve the vision of sustainability with the environment. And as such, we have launched the dedicated application "TAIPEI 101 MALL" specifically for our shopping mall. Through the APP, users will be able to access online product catalogs, counter layout, e-coupons, souvenir number-calling and even restaurant reservation features so that we could serve our customers in a smarter and more eco-friendly way.
You can use the APP to access the latest information and embark on a journey of smart, convenient shopping.
With the APP, you will be able to quickly access various member ship functions and enjoy our excellent service quality.
Built with smart parking functionality, you will be able to check the number of available lots, calculate parking fees and locate your vehicle using the APP.
In 2016, we have continued to update the TAIPEI 101 Mall APP by promoting relevant membership services such as the inclusion of meal ordering services (estimated for launch by next year). At the same time, we have also promoted relevant services through physical and digital channels such as our digital media at the shopping mall, the B1 service counter, WECHAT and so forth as we issued our electronic Gift Card and Int ernational VIP Card.
In addition to our digital media including FB, APP, C2, E-Poster, official website and event site, we have also included LINE@ and WECHAT in 2016 in order to boost the efficiency of our digital communications and facilitate online community interactions so that we can promote the beauty of Taiwan through digital platforms.