VILNIUS – Taiwanese consumers have increased their spending in Lithuania’s online stores considerably amid growing ties between Lithuania and Taiwan, which Beijing considers an inalienable part of China.
According to the data from Taiwanese institutions, residents of the island’s seven large cities made approximately 112,000 credit card payments, worth more than 2.5 billion new Taiwan dollars (approx. EUR 76 million), in Lithuanian stores between February and the end of June.
“Lithuania has become one of the top 10 destinations for online credit card spending by Taiwanese consumers,” Bi-khim Hsiao, Taiwan’s economic and cultural representative to the United States, said in a Twitter post sharing a picture of a bottle of Lithuanian beer she bought.
The biggest spenders were the residents of Taipei who splashed approximately 1 billion new Taiwan dollars in Lithuania, according to local news portal United Daily News (UDN).
Diplomatic relations between Lithuania and Taiwan have grown substantially stronger this year. In particular, Taiwan announced in July that it would set up a representative office under the name of "Taiwan" in Lithuania separately from China.
China tries to keep Taipei isolated on the world stage and avoids any official use of the word "Taiwan" so as not to give international legitimacy to the self-ruled island of 23 million people.