Hexing Store has operated as the commercial hub of Taoyuan’s Fuxing District (Jiaobanshan) for more than a century. Located next to the police station and close to Fuxing Youth Activity Center, it has been at the center of Fuxing’s development from the early period of Japanese rule right up to the present day.
The store was founded under the initiative of Lee Yongshi, the fifth and youngest son of a family that moved from Daxi to open up land for cultivation in Jiaobanshan. Having been soundly educated in the Japanese school system, Lee Yongshi worked as a police assistant in Jiaobanshan’s police sub-station. His grandparents used to do business selling cloth and basic goods from Daxi, taking their wares on carrying-poles to indigenous settlements in the surrounding area. After the family had settled in Fuxing, they opened Hexing Store as a small general goods emporium.
In the early days, life was a hard struggle for both Chinese and indigenous residents of Jiaobanshan. To make things easier for everyone, Hexing Store let them buy goods on credit. The store provided daily necessities and emergency funds, deferring payment until customers received wages, or accepting indigenous people’s farm products in lieu of payment.
In the 1960s, the opening of the Northern Cross-Island Highway made it much easier for indigenous people to transport their produce down from the mountains, and Hexing Store became a trading hub for agricultural products from the whole Fuxing area. But while life gradually got better for some indigenous people, poverty remained rife among them. Hexing Store continued to help by offering earning opportunities, such as paying indigenous people to cut bamboo. They also took on voluntary work in their spare time, as a means of giving back to the community.
As the 21st century brought great changes in the world at large and in forms of economic activity, Hexing Store was remodeled into an online as well as a bricks-and-mortar marketing outlet. Maintaining a strong commitment to promoting indigenous culture and produce, it continues to play a hub marketing role, utilizing the boundless reach of the Internet to showcase Taiwan’s unique indigenous culture and products worldwide.