From Taipei Streets to the French Alps, Giant’s Bikes Found Success with Reinvention

TAIPEI, Taiwan — They’re as likely to be spotted in the Tour de France as they are on the street.

Founded 45 years ago in Taiwan, Giant Manufacturing has built bikes that have cycled terrain the world over. But before gaining its own name recognition, Giant got its start making orders for others, including Schwinn, one of the U.S.’s most well-known brands.

“At that time in Taiwan, nobody will ever think of making their own brand, if you are doing [exporting],” Bonnie Tu, who became Giant’s chairperson in January, told NBC News during a sit-down interview at Giant headquarters in Taichung, Taiwan. “I think most Taiwanese think you just make products for American or European companies.”

King Liu, Tu’s uncle, established Giant in 1972 with an investment of $4 million New Taiwan Dollars (the rough equivalent of US$ 133,000 as of publication) and 30-some-odd workers, according to the company’s timeline. That first year, Giant made and sold around 3,800 bikes.

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Victoria Krisman
Victoria Krisman is Interactive Media Specialist and Communications Manager for the Intelligent Community Forum.
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