Gou cedes Foxconn control as he eyes Taiwan presidency

TAIPEI, Taiwan's richest man Terry Gou said

Friday he would cede control of his company Foxconn to a committee, leaving

the Applesupplier tech behemoth in uncharted waters while he runs for

president.

Gou has been at the helm of Foxconn, the world's largest electronics

assembler, for more than four decades but has set his sights on becoming

Taiwan's next president.

The island goes to the polls in January, with the contest set to be

dominated by relations with China.

Gou whose company is China's largest private employer is seeking to

run as presidential candidate for the Beijingfriendly Kuomintang (KMT)

although he still has to win a party primary.

As that contest intensifies, Gou announced plans to hand the reins at

Foxconn to a ninemember committee of trusted lieutenants.

I have decided to fade out of Hon Hai and it's been decided that the

company's operations will be handed over to the ninemember team in the

operations committee, Gou said at the start of a shareholder meeting, using

Foxconn's official name.

I have a lot of confidence in them. I think every shareholder can rest

assured that they can do better than me, he added.

Also known by its official name Hon Hai Precision Industry, Foxconn is the

world's largest contract electronics maker and assembles gadgets for major

international brands including Apple and Huawei.

The bulk of Gou's investments are in China, employing more than one

million workers in the country where cheap labour helped fuel his company's

meteoric rise.

His foray into politics came in April, when he announced that the sea

goddess Matsu had encouraged him to run for the presidency.

His chief challenger within the KMT is Han Kuoyu, a populist local mayor

and political outsider who has drawn huge rallies of supporters in recent

months.

The KMT primary is expected to be announced in midJuly.

Whoever wins will be up against President Tsai Ingwen, who is looking to

win a second term. She hails from the much more Beijingsceptical Democratic

Progressive Party.

Since Tsai's 2016 election, Beijing has cut communication with her

government, ramped up military drills and poached several of Taiwan's

dwindling diplomatic allies because Tsai refuses to acknowledge that the

selfruled island is part of one China.

Both Gou and Han have spoken of wanting to reset ties with Beijing.

Critics accuse both of being too close to China's leaders while Gou's huge

investments in the mainland have raised fears of a conflict of interest.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)