Asia

Founder of Din Tai Fung chain, globally known for its xiao long baos, dies aged 96

SINGAPORE: The founder of global restaurant chain Din Tai Fung has died at the age of 96. The eatery, known for its steamed dumplings or xiao long bao, was founded in Taiwan in 1958.

According to Taiwan media, a statement by the company on Saturday (Mar 25) said Mr Yang Bing-yi passed away peacefully and that his family has asked for privacy as they arrange his funeral.

Mr Yang was born in 1927 in China’s Shanxi province, according to Din Tai Fung’s website. In 1948,¬†while China was engulfed in civil war, the 21-year old left for Taiwan.

Mr Yang and his wife started their own cooking oil business 10 years later, and called it Din Tai Fung. But in the early 1970s, sales took a big hit after tinned cooking oil became widely available.

It was then that the couple dedicated half their shopfront to selling xiao long bao instead of cooking oil.

With the ensuing success, Din Tai Fung closed its oil business and officially became a restaurant specialising in xiao long bao and other Chinese dishes.

Today, Din Tai Fung has more than 170 locations in 13 countries and territories.

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