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"我操他妈的真是爽翻了。"
―Tao Cheng, in Trevor Philips Industries. (English: "I'm motherfucking high as shit.")

Tao Cheng (Chinese: 陳陶) 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.

Biography

Background

Tao was born in Yangshan, China and speaks Mandarin Chinese. He only knows a few English words, and is accompanied by a translator for this reason. His father is Wei Cheng, the leader of the Los Santos Triads. While Wei 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 only child. Constantly getting wasted and lacking any sense of initiative at the business meetings he is supposed to attend 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 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 Tao'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.

At this point the player can kill him, but this is purely optional, as his father is the only one who must be killed.

Events of GTA Online: The Diamond Casino & Resort

This article or section refers to "enhanced version" content in the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC renditions of Grand Theft Auto V and/or Grand Theft Auto Online, that is absent on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 versions.
For a complete list of the features of the "enhanced" version of Grand Theft Auto V, please see here.
V

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, Cheng pulls a gun on the other man, officially triggering a violent conflict between the Triads and the Duggan 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 Thorton.

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

Mission Appearances

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto Online

The Diamond Casino & Resort

Gallery

Trivia

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.
  • 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.

Grand Theft Auto Online

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

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