At least five local and foreign operators have expressed interest in taking the majority stake in Taiwan Star owned by food conglomerate Ting Hsin International.

Ting Hsin, which is facing charges of distributing tainted cooking oil, has a 52 per cent interest in Taiwan Star, a new 4G player with less than a 2 per cent market share and about 600,000 connections.

Ting Hsin’s chairman, who also is the chairman of Taiwan Star, confirmed this week at a board meeting it would sell off its stake in the operator, the China Post reported.

Taiwan’s mobile leader Chunghwa, Far EasTone Telecommunication and Hon Hai Precision, which owns Asia Pacific Telecom, have all been in contact with Ting Hsin, the Post said. Japan’s KDDI has reportedly also been in contact with Ting Hsin.

After the scandal broke in October, Ting Hsin has faced a boycott, which covers Taiwan Star’s service and has impacted its ability to raise funds, prompting the operator’s other stakeholders to push for it to divest its interest.

Taiwan Star’s other shareholders are Cathay Financial (20 per cent), Cheng Uei Precision (10 per cent), Kingpo Group (10 per cent) and CTBC Group (8 per cent).

The operator claimed to have 4G coverage across 85 per cent of Taiwan and aimed to increase that to 96 per cent by the end of last year.