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— Tao Cheng, in Trevor Philips Industries. (English: "Man, I'm high as shit.")

Tao Cheng (Traditional Chinese: 陳陶, Simplified Chinese: 陈陶) is a character in the Grand Theft Auto series, appearing as a supporting character in Grand Theft Auto V and a major character in Grand Theft Auto Online.



Born in Yangshan, China, Tao is the firstborn of Wei Cheng, the leader of the Los Santos Triads.

Tao speaks mostly in Mandarin Chinese. While he can speak and understand basic English, he is usually accompanied by his translator. While the elder Cheng is ruthless and easily capable of bringing retribution on anyone who opposes him, Tao is proven to be a completely inept Triad successor, displaying the typical traits of a spoiled child. Constantly getting wasted and lacking any sense of initiative during business meetings he is supposed to lead, with his translator handling. Despite this, his father cares a lot for his son in spite of his behavior and never reprimands him for going to business meetings drunk or high.

Events of Grand Theft Auto Online in 2013


While he does not makes any physical appearance in the initial events of Grand Theft Auto Online, he is an unseen buyer for the player's vehicle exporting business, as part of the Import/Export update.

Tao can purchase a collection comprising of an Omnis, a Tropos Rallye, a Jester and a Sultan RS from the GTA Online Protagonist.

Events of Grand Theft Auto V

Tao is contacted through Ron Jakowski who knew that he would buy the meth that Trevor cooked. He is spoken for by a translator, who works for him on pain of death from Tao's father. When Trevor meets Tao for the first time, he is high on ecstasy and does not appear to be taking the meeting seriously, much to Trevor's chagrin. When they arrive at the meth lab, Ortega's Aztecas crew attack in vengeance for their leader, so Tao and the translator are put in a freezer as the gun battle takes place. When it ends, they are released, and the translator drives Tao away, saying that he had seen enough.

Afterwards, Tao decided to work with the O'Neil Brothers, a group of redneck meth dealers who operate a large meth lab on their ranch. This enrages Trevor, causing him to attack Tao by hitting his head against a wooden pillar. Trevor heads to the ranch, kills most of the O'Neil Brothers and destroys the ranch in a gasoline explosion. Tao's father then hunts Trevor down in North Yankton, but captures his "boyfriend" Michael De Santa and holds him hostage in a Cypress Flats meat factory, although he is eventually rescued by Franklin Clinton.

After robbing the Union Depository and killing the last three of the O'Neil brothers, Michael, Franklin, and Trevor plan to eliminate their enemies, including the triads. In "The Third Way," Franklin agrees to kill Wei Cheng. He finds his and his son's location through Lester, who traces Tao's credit card to a Pacific Bluffs beach club. He finds a three-car convoy and ambushes it. Tao can be seen next to his father on the back seat of a black Washington and he will not be high like he has been in every previous encounter. He is equipped with a Micro SMG without modifications, just like any of the bodyguards, and will also naturally retaliate against any possible enemy on sight.

Tao is killable, which will devastate his father in response. However, it is confirmed through The Diamond Casino & Resort DLC for Grand Theft Auto Online that Tao canonically survives, as he is still alive in 2019 and will mention the country club shootout.

Events of Grand Theft Auto Online

The Diamond Casino & Resort

This article (or section) refers to content in the Enhanced version for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC release of Grand Theft Auto Online that may be absent from other versions.
For a complete list of the features of the Enhanced version for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC version of Grand Theft Auto Online, please see here.

By 2019, Tao's uncle is now the head of the family, but still has Tao representing the Triad in Los Santos. The family renovates and opens The Diamond Casino & Resort, taking on debt from Avery Duggan in the process. Tao is officially the owner of the casino, although he does none of the actual management, including a bitter conflict with the Duggan family, which now wants to purchase the casino.

On a trip to Sandy Shores to purchase meth (from a dealer highly implied to be Trevor), he is kidnapped by The Lost MC, but shortly rescued by the GTA Online Protagonist, who has become involved in the casino. While the conflict with the Duggans continue, Tao retains Brucie Kibbutz as a personal trainer, and begins a regime of high-pace exercises and bull shark testosterone. The supplements make him aggressive and, during a face to face meeting with Avery to discuss the casino, Avery's insults anger Cheng enough to pull a gun on the other man, officially triggering a violent conflict between the Chengs and the Duggan Crime Family.

Though the Protagonist is able to disrupt Duggan operations at Tao's orders, the family retaliates with a violent airborne assault on the resort that is barely repelled. Tao's uncle decides the conflict is too damaging to the family and orders Tao to sell the Casino to Avery. Unexpectedly, Avery's nephew Thornton Duggan comes and offers a peaceful sell of the property assuming Tao's associates can kill his uncle, thus making him head of the family business. They do so, Avery is killed, and Tao sells the Casino & Resort to Thornton.

With the investment lost, Tao and his translator board a flight out of Los Santos back to China.

During the mission Casino - Strong Arm Tactics, when driving Tao and his translator to the Pacific Bluffs Country Club to meet up with Agatha Baker, Tao says "I almost got killed at this country club once already. Never again." [2] This references The Third Way, where Franklin Clinton drives to the country club where Tao and his father Wei Cheng are and kills the elder Cheng by a car bombing. Tao is seen leaving the club but Franklin leaves him alive, confirming Option C as the canon ending.

The Diamond Casino Heist

This article (or section) refers to content in the Enhanced version for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC release of Grand Theft Auto Online that may be absent from other versions.
For a complete list of the features of the Enhanced version for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC version of Grand Theft Auto Online, please see here.

A few months after his return to China, Tao's previously unknown sister, Georgina, arrives in Los Santos on behalf of the Cheng Family Holdings company. After introducing herself to Lester Crest and the protagonist, both of whom she secretly manipulates into coming to her location at Mirror Park, Georgina states that one of her goals is to avenge her brother's humiliation after he was forced to sell the Diamond Casino & Resort to Thornton Duggan.

Together, all parties eventually agree to plan out and execute numerous elaborate heists on the casino, avenging Tao and humiliating the Duggans.

Personality and Traits

That's how we roll, bitches!
— Tao Cheng, under the influence of Bull Shark Testosterone, saying one of Brucie Kibbutz's catchphrases.

Tao is normally peaceful and laid back, suffering from an addiction of drugs and alcohol, and is a highly unprofessional gang member and heir (ex. coming to meetings high or drunk). When not under the influence he has been shown to possess at least some degree of intelligence and sensibility as he openly calls Trevor Philips a maniac and insults him during their follow up meeting in the mission Crystal Maze even though this only makes Trevor mad enough to beat Tao up before he departs for the O'Neil Ranch.

Tao also has a serious and irritable side, as he will attempt to kill Franklin in The Third Way, pulls a gun on Avery Duggan for racially insulting him, and even opens fire on The Professionals hired by Avery.

Mission Appearances

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto Online

The Diamond Casino & Resort



Grand Theft Auto V

  • Despite obtaining his personal phone number, Tao cannot be contacted by Trevor.
  • According to the Rush Casting Call, Tao's beta name was Tae Wong and was addicted to ecstasy.
  • During the mission Trevor Philips Industries, when Trevor enters his Bodhi at the beginning of the mission, the radio will always be tuned to Soulwax FM and Tao will be dancing to whichever song is playing, suggesting that this could be his favorite radio station. He will also dance along if the radio is tuned to FlyLo FM or Non-Stop-Pop FM.
  • In the official traditional and simplified Chinese version, his name is 陳陶(陈陶) in Chinese. But his surname "陳(陈)" is possibly a translation error of the Chinese version, because "陳(陈)" pronounces "Chen" instead of "Cheng" in Mandarin Chinese, and “程" is more likely the correct surname, which is a Chinese surname and pronounced "Cheng", then his correct full name would be “程陶(程伟) ”.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 GTA Online: Import/Export:
    Vehicle Cargo Collections
  2. 我曾經差點在這個鄉村俱樂部被殺,一次就夠了!
    — Tao Cheng, in Casino - Strong Arm Tactics. (English: "I almost got killed at this country club once before. Once is enough already!")