TAIPEI, Taiwan – The head of the Foxconn Technology Group, which announced plans to move away from daily operations at the world's largest electronics provider, said on Tuesday it was considering a candidacy for the Taiwan president.
Terry Gou said he would make a decision "in a day or two" on a possible presidential candidacy, according to the official Taiwan Central News Agency. He said that if he decided to run, he would participate in the primary elections of the opposition Nationalist Party instead of organizing an independent candidacy.
Nationalists favor closer ties with Beijing, a policy that matches Gou's mbadive commercial interests in China. Any candidate is expected to face a crowded field in the 2020 polls, in which President Tsai Ing-wen of the Progressive Democratic Progressive Party says he will seek a second four-year term.
Gou told reporters on Monday at an event in Taipei that he would withdraw from daily operations at Foxconn. He said he wants to work on a book on his management philosophy perfected for 45 years and prepare a younger generation to eventually take over operations in the company.
Foxconn counts Apple, Google and Amazon as customers and has said it will build a manufacturing plant in the US state of Wisconsin.
"The company's main management will still be guided by me, but I will gradually move away from front-line operations," said Gou, 69.
"I feel I should reduce my personal influence (…) allow young people to learn early to take my position as soon as possible so I can have more free time to work on long-term planning for the future of the company."
Foxconn announced in 2017, to great fanfare, that it planned to invest $ 10 billion in Wisconsin and hire 13,000 people to build an LCD factory that could make screens for televisions and a variety of other devices.
The company said last year it was reducing the scale of what was to be done in Wisconsin, from what is known as a Gen 10 to Gen 6 factory. Those plans now seem to be changing, although the company says its campus in Wisconsin houses both an advanced manufacturing facility and a center of "technological innovation for the region."
Earlier this year, Foxconn cited a changing global market that required stop manufacturing LCD panels in Wisconsin. Apple is the main Foxconn manufacturing customer and has forecast a drop in Chinese market revenues due to the decrease in demand for iPhones.