(Bloomberg) — Billionaire tech billionaire Terry Gou has denied that Beijing could pressure him through his vast operations in the country, which include much of Apple Inc.’s supply chain. — in the comments that came when he said he would run in the upcoming presidential election in Taiwan.
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And if China confiscates the assets of Hon Hai Precision Industries, this will harm the interests of major global pension funds, and “no foreign investor will dare to invest,” he said when launching his election campaign in Taipei. It also screened the names of major clients including Apple, Tesla Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. and Nvidia Corp., saying any production halts due to political pressure would disrupt supply chains, something China will need to explain to the world.
“I will not bow to China’s threats,” he said, adding that he had no “personal” assets in China and that he was not receiving instructions from Beijing. He also described the Chinese economy as being in “terrible” shape.
Foxconn Technology Group, the company founded by Zhou, said in a statement after his remarks that it has more than 800,000 shareholders and is jointly owned by investors at home and abroad.
“As the founder, Joe actually handed over power four years ago and is no longer involved in the day-to-day management of the company,” she added. “It can be said that it is a very good example of succession for a global company, and in the future the company will build on the foundation laid by the founder to take the business to the next level.”
Hon Hai shares were little changed Monday in Taipei. They’re up 8.1% this year.
See: Foxconn founder Terry Gou announces his run for president in Taiwan
In his quest for the presidency, Zhou has argued that he can improve the strained relations between Taipei and Beijing, and achieve “50 years” of peace. His group’s extensive operations in China have raised concerns that Beijing could pressure him through his business.
Foxconn is the largest private employer in China. Its Hon Hai Precision unit has a market capitalization of $47 billion.
Also: Apple’s iPhone supply chain fractured amid US-China tensions
Zhou is the fourth participant in the presidential race in Taiwan, and the elections are scheduled for January. He will face a contest for votes with Hu Yu-ae of the opposition Kuomintang Party, who also advocates better relations with Beijing.
Vice President Lai Ching-te of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party leads the polls, followed by Ku Wenjie of the Taiwan People’s Party.
Read: Taiwanese Lai Company Determined to Divert from China After Mango Ban
–With assistance from Debbie Wu and Sarah Cheng.
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