Yang Bing-Yi, who has died at 96, founded the Din Tai Fung restaurant chain

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Yang Bing-Yi founded a global chain of restaurants known for soup dumplings.

Photo: Yang Family

In the early 1970s, Yang Bing-Yi was a struggling seller of cooking oil in Taipei. As demand for his bottled peanut oil sank, Mr. Yang and his wife, Lai Pen-Mei, diversified in 1972 by offering soup dumplings and other Chinese delicacies. 

These treats proved so popular that the Yangs abandoned the cooking-oil business to focus on Shanghai-style dumplings and other food, sold at a restaurant called Din Tai Fung. Until 1993, it was known almost exclusively to local connoisseurs. Then the New York Times included Din Tai Fung in an article extolling 10 “top-notch tables” around the world. It was described as unpretentious and “sparkling clean.”

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