Hon Hai executive: Confident startup guru will weather storm

Hon Hai executive denies that the company is behind the Hope Bay downsizing

Hon Hai Precision Vice President Lu Fang-ming (By Central News Agency)

Taipei (Taiwan News) – A senior executive at Hon Hai Precision Industry on Thursday denied allegations that the company was responsible for a sudden massive downsizing at much smaller Hope Bay Technologies Inc.

Taiwanese startup guru and Hope Bay Technologies Inc. CEO Ben Jai apologized early Wednesday to employees for the decision to downsize the organization after media reported that 80 percent of the staff to be axed ahead of the Lunar New Year, though the Google veteran did not give more details on the number of people affected.

Some media reports quickly associated the ‘partner’ mentioned in Jai’s post that triggered his downsizing plan and the halt of an unborn public cloud computing platform project to Hon Hai Precision Industry, the world’s biggest electronic device maker and also a key investor to Hope Bay, saying the conglomerate’s chairman Terry Gou was displeased with the startup's performance, which led Jai to resort to downsizing to focus on more lucrative business.

Read: Taiwan startup guru apologizes to employees affected by downsizing

On Thursday, Hon Hai Precision Vice President Lu Fang-ming attended a press event for the opening of a patent development center in Hsinchu and was asked by reporters about the rumor. Lu said that Hon Hai had no advance knowledge of Hope Bay’s layoffs and, as an investor to many startups, Hon Hai encourages teams to think independently to fully utilize their innovation capacity and creativity.

Lu continued to say that Hon Hai will continue to give its full support to the startup given that it is a world-class cloud computing vendor.

Lu added that Hon Hai understands the challenges startups face and sometimes they just need to adapt themselves to the changing market to weather through the difficulties.