Foxconn chief Terry Gou not interested in Taiwan presidential election bid

Gou says he can be more influential as a businessman

Foxconn founder Terry Gou.

Foxconn founder Terry Gou. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Terry Gou (郭台銘), the founder and chairman of the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer, Foxconn Technology, told reporters he did not have “one millionth of willingness” to run for president in Taiwan.

As Gou has been working with United States President Donald Trump to prepare for a factory in the state of Wisconsin, the media has drawn parallels between the two and hinted that the Foxconn founder, who is not shy of making comments on public issues, might run for president of Taiwan in 2020 at the earliest.

When Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television asked him about his political ambitions, the tycoon replied that he “barely had one millionth of willingness,” the Central News Agency reported.

Gou said that as a business person, he could even be more influential, adding he wanted to soften relations between Taiwan and China. He also told the interviewer that as the son of parents who had emigrated from China to Taiwan, it would be more difficult for him to win a presidential election.

In the interview with Phoenix TV, Gou also touched on the issues of a U.S.-China trade war and on his succession at Foxconn.

Investing in the U.S. amounted to spreading the risk, Gou said, adding that his company was already present in 12 countries, with the U.S. offering talent for his venture in the field of production technology research. “Where there is a market, there is competitiveness,” CNA quoted Gou as explaining how a manufacturing concern as Foxconn saw the world.

Last month, Gou was present at the ceremonial groundbreaking for Foxconn’s US$10 billion plant in Wisconsin, which has since been followed by several other reports of the Taiwanese company buying real estate across the state to house offices and technology centers.

The 67-year-old tycoon said his eventual successor at the helm of Foxconn should not be one of the company’s founding members, but someone who was at least 20 years younger than him. Gou also seemed to exclude his own son, nephew and niece, while hinting that anyone he had been harsh to, stood a good chance of getting promoted to the top job.