Date
18 July 2019
Terry Gou, founder and chairman of Foxconn, greets attendees on Tuesday during a Taipei event that marked the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act. Photo: Reuters
Terry Gou, founder and chairman of Foxconn, greets attendees on Tuesday during a Taipei event that marked the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act. Photo: Reuters

Foxconn’s Gou mulls joining Taiwan 2020 presidential race

Terry Gou, the chairman of Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn group, said on Tuesday that he is looking at the possibility of running in Taiwan’s 2020 presidential election, Reuters reports.

Speaking on the sidelines of an event in Taipei, Gou declined to say which party he could represent, the news agency said a day after it reported that Gou plans to step down from the world’s largest contract manufacturer.

If it is the China-friendly opposition party Kuomintang (KMT), he would “go” with the standard procedures of the party, Gou said, adding that he will make a decision “as soon as possible”.

“I didn’t sleep last night … 2020 is key for Taiwan. The reason for the tense situation (with China) is because it’s a turning point for Taiwan’s direction for politics, economy, defense for the next 20 years,” Gou said.

“So I asked myself the whole night … I need to ask myself what I can do. What I can do for the youth? … The next 20 years will decide their fate,” he said.

The KMT said in a statement that Gou had been a party member for more than 50 years and had given it an interest-free loan of NT$45 million (US$1.5 million) in 2016 under the name of his mother, a move that signaled his “loyalty” to the party.

Gou, Taiwan’s richest person with a net worth of US$7.6 billion according to Forbes, told Reuters on Monday that he plans to step down in the coming months to pave the way for younger talent to move up the company’s ranks.

The company later said Gou will remain chairman of Foxconn, though he plans to withdraw from daily operations.

Taiwan is gearing up for presidential elections in January at a time of heightened tensions across the Taiwan Strait, with Chinese bombers and warships conducting drills around the island on Monday.

“We need peace. We don’t need to buy too many weapons. Peace is the biggest weapon,” Gou said, adding that Taiwan only needs adequate self-defense.

“If we spend the money for weapons on economic development, on artificial intelligence, on investment in the United States, this would be the biggest assurance on peace.”

A source with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters that Gou is likely to announce his decision on the presidential bid later on Tuesday at the earliest.

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RC

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