Foxconn Founder Seeks to 'Preserve Peace' with China in Taiwan Presidential Bid

Foxconn Founder Seeks to 'Preserve Peace' with China in Taiwan Presidential Bid
Terry Gou

The Lede: Terry Gou, the billionaire founder of Foxconn said that he would aim for peace between the island and Mainland China if elected president of Taiwan.

What We Know:

  • Seeking the leadership nomination of the Chinese Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang (KMT), Gou held his first rally in the opposition stronghold city of Kaohsiung in the south of Taiwan. Gou commented on the popular sentiments regarding increased cross-strait military posturing and insisted that he would do a better job than the incumbent Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) under the leadership of President Tsai Ing-wen and their next leadership candidate Vice President Lai Ching-te.
  • Gou has not held office and has no experience as a political leader. He faces the challenge of convincing the KMT to choose him over other establishment candidates in the party as well as balancing his business interests in China.

The Background: Gou founded the Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) in 1974. The company has become the largest electronics manufacturer in the world with over 54,000 owned patents as well as manufacturing plants and research & development centers in more than seven countries, including a dozen plants in nine cities in China. Gou attempted a run for president in 2019 before the previous election but lost to the populist outsider Han Kuo-yu in the race for the KMT nomination. The DPP has been in power for eight years and has been facing pressure over a stagnant economy and geopolitical tensions with Mainland China.

Likely Outcomes:

  • If tensions with China continue, especially with U.S. influence, the KMT has a significant advantage over the DPP in the upcoming presidential election in January. Whether Gou is selected to be KMT leader or not, the party is likely to work toward smoothing out cross-strait relations to address the political and economic issues most pressing to the Taiwanese population. His business ties with China will be the centerpiece of criticism from opponents.
  • Better relations with China could lead to less aggressive military posturing from Beijing and more fluid trade and commerce across the Taiwan Strait. However, the U.S. would not stand by as its efforts to bolster Taiwan’s anti-China stance falls flat. Washington may seek avenues of influence leading up to the election in opposition to elements aiming for warmer relations with China.


“The last two years, what I have seen is a government that cannot see the sufferings of the people. What do the people worry about the most now? They are most concerned that war will break out any time. Let me, on behalf of everyone, strive for peace. Let me preserve the peace.” – Terry Gou, presidential candidate for the KMT in Taiwan and founder of Foxconn

“There is no way Gou can explain his myriad business ties with China if he runs.” – Chen Sui-bian, former DPP president of Taiwan

Good Reads:

Foxconn founder pledges to 'preserve peace' with China if elected (The Manila Times)

Foxconn founder Terry Gou vows to 'preserve peace' with China if elected Taiwan president (The Strait Times)

Could Taiwan choose Gou Tai-ming of Foxconn as President? (EJ Insight)