Taiwan’s iPhone Tycoon Walks a Fraught U.S.-China Line in His Presidential Run

The New York Times
Date: June 21, 2019
By Chris Horton

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Like other presidential hopefuls in Taiwan, Terry Gou has spent the past few

Terry Gou built Foxconn by straddling the gap between the United States and China, but would have to do that on a larger and more difficult scale if he became president of Taiwan.CreditTyrone Siu/Reuters

weeks working on his public image by carrying toddlers, wrapping dumplings and helping farmers.

Unlike the other candidates, he is a billionaire, the chairman of Foxconn, a major Apple supplier that operates vast factories in China. He has also pressed the flesh with President Trump, who told him, Mr. Gou says, that being president is a “tough job.”

Should Mr. Gou become Taiwan’s president, Mr. Trump would have a lot of say over what might be the toughest part of his job: striking a delicate balance between the interests of the United States and China, especially as the two giants fight a bruising trade war.

On Friday, Mr. Gou handed over the reins of his sprawling electronics manufacturing empire to a new Foxconn operating committee to address potential conflicts of interest as he runs for president. He built Foxconn and amassed a personal fortune of $7 billion by skillfully straddling the gap between China and the United States. For years Foxconn has assembled the iPhone in China, helping make Apple what it is today and becoming China’s biggest private-sector employer at the same time.    [FULL  STORY8]

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