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The billionaire founder of a key Apple supplier announced his Taiwan presidency run, saying Beijing can’t threaten him because of his links with Apple, Tesla, Amazon, and Nvidia

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Foxconn founder Terry Gou announced his bid for Taiwan’s presidency.

Ann Wang/Reuters

Foxconn founder Terry Gou announced he’s running in Taiwan’s presidential election.
Gou said Beijing would not be able to influence him despite Foxconn’s vast business in China.
Gou said investors would lose confidence in China if the country confiscated Foxconn’s assets.

Terry Gou, the billionaire founder of Foxconn — a key supplier to Apple — has thrown his hat into the ring for Taiwan’s presidential election.

He is betting on his business ties in his bid for the island’s top job. Gou said Beijing — which claimed self-ruled Taiwan as its territory — wouldn’t be able to use the businessman’s vast empire to influence him. 

Gou was responding to a reporter’s question about how he would react to pressure from Beijing should he be elected as president. Taiwan-based Foxconn is the largest private employer in China.

“I will not be threatened,” said Gou at a political event on Monday where he announced his campaign, according to Insider’s translation of a recording posted on his Facebook page.

When asked about Beijing’s potential retaliation against Foxconn — also known as Hon Hai Technology Group — should Gou run for president, he said it would only hurt China’s reputation and interests if it confiscated the company’s assets.

That’s because there are many shareholders in the Taipei-listed company, including large international pension funds, he said. Foxconn told Insider separately it has over 800,000 shareholders.

“If the Chinese Communist Party dares to do this, which country, which investment fund, which company would dare to invest in China?” he said. He clarified he doesn’t hold any personal assets in China.

Gou said Foxconn’s clients include the most important names on Wall Street, including Apple, Amazon, Tesla, and the current investor-favorite, Nvidia. So, supply chains would be massively disrupted if Beijing confiscated Foxconn’s assets, he said. 

“How would the Chinese Communist Party explain to major global brands?” he asked. “Besides, its economy is terrible now.”

Gou founded Foxconn in 1974. He is worth nearly $7 billion, with a substantial portion of his wealth derived from a 12.6% stake in the publicly traded division of Foxconn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The business magnate stepped down as Foxconn’s chairman in 2019 in a bid to run for Taiwan’s presidency. However, he dropped out of the race after he failed to win the nomination of KMT, Taiwan’s main opposition party.

Gou tried again this year, but failed to win the party’s nomination for a second time, sparking widespread speculation that he would run as an independent candidate.

In a statement to Insider, a Foxonn spokesperson said Gou “handed off the baton four years ago, stepping away from participating in the daily management of the company.” Gou did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

Gou joins a crowded race with three other candidates: Taiwanese Vice President William Lai Ching-te from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, Hou Yu-ih, the mayor of New Taipei City from the main opposition party Kuomintang, and Taiwan People’s Party Chairman Ko Wen-je, a former mayor of Taipei.

The Taiwan presidential election is scheduled for January 13, 2024.

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Foxconn founder Terry Gou announced his bid for Taiwan’s presidency.

Ann Wang/Reuters

Foxconn founder Terry Gou announced he’s running in Taiwan’s presidential election.
Gou said Beijing would not be able to influence him despite Foxconn’s vast business in China.
Gou said investors would lose confidence in China if the country confiscated Foxconn’s assets.

Terry Gou, the billionaire founder of Foxconn — a key supplier to Apple — has thrown his hat into the ring for Taiwan’s presidential election.

He is betting on his business ties in his bid for the island’s top job. Gou said Beijing — which claimed self-ruled Taiwan as its territory — wouldn’t be able to use the businessman’s vast empire to influence him. 

Gou was responding to a reporter’s question about how he would react to pressure from Beijing should he be elected as president. Taiwan-based Foxconn is the largest private employer in China.

“I will not be threatened,” said Gou at a political event on Monday where he announced his campaign, according to Insider’s translation of a recording posted on his Facebook page.

When asked about Beijing’s potential retaliation against Foxconn — also known as Hon Hai Technology Group — should Gou run for president, he said it would only hurt China’s reputation and interests if it confiscated the company’s assets.

That’s because there are many shareholders in the Taipei-listed company, including large international pension funds, he said. Foxconn told Insider separately it has over 800,000 shareholders.

“If the Chinese Communist Party dares to do this, which country, which investment fund, which company would dare to invest in China?” he said. He clarified he doesn’t hold any personal assets in China.

Gou said Foxconn’s clients include the most important names on Wall Street, including Apple, Amazon, Tesla, and the current investor-favorite, Nvidia. So, supply chains would be massively disrupted if Beijing confiscated Foxconn’s assets, he said. 

“How would the Chinese Communist Party explain to major global brands?” he asked. “Besides, its economy is terrible now.”

Gou founded Foxconn in 1974. He is worth nearly $7 billion, with a substantial portion of his wealth derived from a 12.6% stake in the publicly traded division of Foxconn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The business magnate stepped down as Foxconn’s chairman in 2019 in a bid to run for Taiwan’s presidency. However, he dropped out of the race after he failed to win the nomination of KMT, Taiwan’s main opposition party.

Gou tried again this year, but failed to win the party’s nomination for a second time, sparking widespread speculation that he would run as an independent candidate.

In a statement to Insider, a Foxonn spokesperson said Gou “handed off the baton four years ago, stepping away from participating in the daily management of the company.” Gou did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

Gou joins a crowded race with three other candidates: Taiwanese Vice President William Lai Ching-te from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, Hou Yu-ih, the mayor of New Taipei City from the main opposition party Kuomintang, and Taiwan People’s Party Chairman Ko Wen-je, a former mayor of Taipei.

The Taiwan presidential election is scheduled for January 13, 2024.

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