B1 Intermediate US 1652 Folder Collection
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Claw machines are everywhere in Taiwan.
From busy streets to corner stores like this one.
I used to play these all the time as a teenager.
And while I eventually grew out of it, Taiwan ... well ... hasn't.
In 2016, there were only about 920 claw machine stores in Taiwan.
Today, there are over 6,678 of them across the island.
And you can usually find them clustered together in night market corners like this one.
Over the years, they've become a popular investment strategy for young people, particularly because of low stagnating wages on the island.
(Speaking Mandarin) Why work with claw machines?
(Speaking Mandarin) The main hope is that I can make a little more money on top of my day job.
(Speaking Mandarin) Because many friends have told me that they can make money, then I wanted to try.
Here's how it works:
An arcade owner sets up all the infrastructure and buys the machines and security cameras for a grand total of around 30,000 USD.
The owner will then rent out each individual claw machine at around 150 USD to 250 USD a month to interested individuals.
Pisuy has been obsessively playing claw machines for a year now and recently just got her own.
(Speaking Mandarin) The rent for the claw machine is not a problem for me.
(Speaking Mandarin) I'll make a little bit of money, about 5000 or 3000 (NTD).
(Speaking Mandarin) When I'm playing the claw machine, I'll set a goal for myself.
(Speaking Mandarin) For example, that sock, my spending limit is 50 NTD.
(Speaking Mandarin) If I have to spend over that, I'll stop playing.
(Speaking Mandarin) 50 NTD, two pairs!
But experts say that the claw machine craze is a bubble waiting to burst.
(Speaking Mandarin) Taiwan has a lot of claw machines because the media keeps on reporting that it's a moneymaker.
(Speaking Mandarin) That's why everyone is getting into it.
(Speaking Mandarin) But these stores are popping up so quickly, so not every machine is making money.
And the market seems to have reached overcapacity.
But for Pisuy, it's more than just an investment strategy.
(Speaking Mandarin) My day job is pretty tiring.
(Speaking Mandarin) Whenever I win something from a claw machine, it brings me a bit of happiness.
(Speaking Mandarin) So I believe they are useful this way.
So cute!
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Why Taiwan Is Obsessed With Claw Machines

1652 Folder Collection
Eunice Lin published on July 22, 2020    Cindy Lin translated    adam reviewed
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