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Preston Wu Shyon Chen

Preston Wu Shyon Chen is the founder of Ho Tung Group based in Taipei, Taiwan.

Preston Wu Shyon Chen is the founder of Ho Tung Group based in Taipei, Taiwan. After earning his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from National Taiwan University, he headed to West Virginia University, where he received a master’s in the discipline in 1968, conducting research on the optimization of fixed bed methanation processes. He studied under Professor Chin-Yung Wen, also from Taiwan, who served as chair of the department.

After graduation, he remained in the United States as an engineer for E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. At the request of his father he returned to Taiwan where he served as a site manager for a newly formed company, the Hung Chou Chemical Corporation, which produced polyester granules, filament and texture yarn. He later founded Formosan Union Chemical Corp., where he served as chairman.

While assisting his father with the family’s textile business, he realized that the technologies used by his family were outdated and would soon make them uncompetitive on the worldwide market. As a result, Chen refocused his family business toward the emerging petrochemical industry in Taiwan. He has founded 15 chemical companies. They include the flagship corporation Ho Tung Chemical Corp., which produces normal paraffin and linear alkyl benzene for use in chlorinated waxes, solvents and cleaning agents. In the early 1990s Chen established the Jintung Chemical Corporation in China, which was the first and largest joint venture company between a Taiwanese petrochemical company and Sinopec at the time. Jintung then spawned 20 companies that specialize in fine chemicals and detergents. In 2001, he founded Vita Genomics, Inc., in Taipei, Taiwan, a genomics-based biotechnological and biopharmaceutical company that focuses on conducting pharmacogenomics research.

He has always been devoted to people who are in need and helped in charities and communities including funding of Chen Yuan Ho Memorial Foundation, which donated to Taiwan 921 Earthquake Relief Fund. He has served as chairman of numerous organizations including the Chinese National Federation of Industries, the Petrochemical Industry Association of Taiwan, and the Taiwan Russia Association. He has served as a national policy advisor to the Office of the President of the Republic of China and is a founding member of the Young Presidents Organization (Taipei Chapter) and of the Taipei Presidents Organization. He is currently an honorary alumnus of National Taiwan University and a director of the board at Nanjing University, which sponsored Jintung Petrochemical Science and Education Development Foundation to Nanjing University and inspired a myriad of students.

West Virginia University presents Preston Wu Shyon Chen with an honorary Doctor of Science for attaining national and international preeminence in his field and for providing distinguished leadership and service in his community.