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Taipei 101 light messages become history
Central News Agency
2014-02-16 08:46 PM
Taipei, Feb. 16 (CNA) The heartening, inspiring messages carried for years in brightly lit words on the sides of Taiwan's tallest skyscraper were set to become a thing of the past at 10 p.m. Sunday, nearly nine years after Taipei 101 opened messages in light for rent. The last lighted messages were set for 9:55 p.m. to tell the country (in Chinese) that the world's tallest green building still "loves you" and wishing everyone "good night" for five minutes.

Since 2005, Taipei 101 has rented out message space on its four outer walls stretching from the 78th to 81st floors.

Building management is shutting the lights down as those floors are being repurposed for other uses, Taipei Financial Center Corp. spokesman Liu Chia-hao said. The service will be remembered for messages marking various special occasions and moments, including "Taiwan Jiayou" (Go, Taiwan!) as encouragement after a devastating typhoon in 2009 caused the heaviest flooding in half a century.

When Taiwanese tennis player Hsieh Su-wei and her Chinese partner captured the women's doubles at Wimbledon last year, the words "Su-wei" and "champion" appeared in Chinese in celebration.

To mark the final Valentine's Day before the lights are shut off for the foreseeable future, Taipei 101 on Friday flashed to life with messages from 50 lucky lovebirds who got to flaunt their messages of love free of charge.

The messages service has been a major source of revenue for Taipei Financial Center Corp., creating an estimated NT$40-50 million (US$1.3-1.65 million) in advertisement dollars each year, Liu said.

The company is studying the possibility of alternative forms of display, such as projection, but has yet to decide on any one of the options, according to Liu.

(By Huang Chiao-wen and Scully Hsiao)

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