Terry Gou, the billionaire founder of Foxconn, a major supplier for Apple, has entered the race for Taiwan’s presidential election. He is leveraging his extensive business connections as a central point in his campaign for the highest office in the country. Gou stated that despite Beijing’s assertion of Taiwan as part of its territory, his extensive business empire wouldn’t be susceptible to manipulation by the Chinese government.
Gou’s response came following a query from a journalist about how he would handle pressure from Beijing if he were to win the presidential election. Foxconn, headquartered in Taiwan, holds the distinction of being the largest private employer in China.
“I will not be threatened,” Gou stated during a political gathering on Monday, where he officially launched his campaign. Insider provided a translated transcript from a recording he posted on his Facebook page.
Global Ramifications of Beijing’s Potential Actions on Foxconn and China’s Interests
Responding to inquiries regarding the possible repercussions from Beijing if he pursued the presidency, Gou conveyed that such actions would solely detriment China’s image and interests. He emphasized that any move to seize the assets of Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Technology Group, would ultimately have negative consequences for China.
This is due to the presence of numerous stakeholders within the company listed in Taipei, which even includes prominent international pension funds,” he pointed out. In a separate communication with Insider, Foxconn disclosed a count of over 800,000 shareholders.
He emphasized, “If the Chinese Communist Party dares to do this, which country, which investment fund, which company would dare to invest in China?” He was clear in stating that he himself did not possess any personal assets situated in China.
Gou highlighted that Foxconn’s clientele boasts some of the most influential names on Wall Street, a roster encompassing Apple, Amazon, Tesla, and the present favorite among investors, Nvidia. Therefore, he cautioned that any appropriation of Foxconn’s assets by Beijing would undoubtedly result in extensive disruptions across global supply chains.
He posed a pertinent question,”How would the Chinese Communist Party explain to major global brands?” Furthermore, he drew attention to the ongoing struggles within the Chinese economy by noting, “Besides, its economy is terrible now.”
Political Ambitions and Foxconn’s Leadership Transition of Terry Gou
Gou established Foxconn back in 1974 and has since amassed a substantial fortune of nearly $7 billion. As highlighted by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a significant portion of his wealth originates from his sizeable 12.6% stake in Foxconn’s publicly traded division.
In 2019, the prominent entrepreneur made a move to step down from his position as Foxconn’s chairman, aiming to pursue a presidential candidacy in Taiwan. However, his aspirations were put on hold when he didn’t secure the nomination from KMT, the primary opposition party in Taiwan.
This year, Gou made another attempt, yet faced disappointment once more as he could not secure the party’s nomination, sparking rumors that he might contemplate an independent candidacy.
A spokesperson from Foxconn conveyed in a statement to Insider that Gou had passed on his leadership role four years ago and had distanced himself from the company’s day-to-day management. Gou has not promptly responded to a request for comment from Insider.
Taiwan’s 2024 Presidential Election: A Pivotal Democratic Moment
Terry Gou now enters a competitive race featuring three other contenders: Taiwanese Vice President William Lai Ching-te, representing the ruling Democratic Progressive Party; Hou Yu-ih, mayor of New Taipei City and a member of the main opposition party Kuomintang; and Taiwan People’s Party Chairman Ko Wen-je, a former mayor of Taipei.
The upcoming presidential election in Taiwan has been officially slated for January 13, 2024. This significant political event marks a crucial moment in the democratic process of the island nation. As the world watches with anticipation, Taiwanese citizens are gearing up to exercise their right to choose their next leader.
Scheduled well in advance, the election date allows for extensive campaigning and preparations by various political parties and candidates. It serves as a platform for robust debates and discussions on the pressing issues that Taiwan faces, ranging from economic policies to international relations.