Taiwanese tycoon offers ‘Asia’s Nobel prizes’

A Taiwanese tycoon with vast business interests in mainland China said Monday he is funding what local media call Asia's Nobel Prizes for outstanding achievements in natural and social sciences.

Ruentex Group head Samuel Yin announced the establishment of the Tang Prize Foundation with an initial endowment of 3 billion New Taiwan dollars ($103 million). The prizes will be awarded every other year to international leaders in biopharmaceutical science, sustainable development, the study of China and the rule of law.

Yin said he decided on those fields because the 118-year-old Nobels do not cover them, and they have intrinsic importance for humanity. The prizes will be awarded from next year. Winners will receive NT$50 million.

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