BEIJING (AP) — Aspiring Taiwanese independent presidential candidate Terry Gou has resigned from the board of Foxconn, the Apple supplier he founded nearly a half-century ago.
The company, officially registered as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., issued a news release late Saturday saying Gou, its former chair, had resigned for personal reasons.
It wasn’t clear what, if any, immediate effect Gou’s decision would have on the operations of Foxconn, ranked 20th in the 2023 Fortune Global 500 and considered one of the world’s largest technology companies.
It is headquartered in Taiwan, but does the vast majority of its manufacturing in China, where it employs hundreds of thousands making iPhones in vast factory-dormitory complexes that have sometimes seen frictions between workers and management over employment conditions.
Guo announced Aug. 28 he would run as an independent candidate in Taiwan’s presidential election, ending months of speculation.
At a news conference, Gou criticized the governing Democratic Progressive Party, saying its policies have “brought Taiwan into the risk of war” with China, which claims the self-ruled island democracy as part of its territory.
“I will definitely not allow Taiwan to become the next Ukraine,” he added. Gou is most closely aligned with the opposition China-friendly Nationalist Party, or KMT.
The Nationalists were driven out of China by Mao Zedong’s victorious Communists in 1949, but continue to hold that the island and the mainland are party of a single Chinese nation — as do the Communists, who threaten to use force to make that a reality.
Gou lost in the Nationalist primary in 2019 and tried again this year, but the party selected New Taipei City Mayor Hou Yu-ih as its candidate. Gou had pledged to support Hou, and his announcement was seen as a betrayal by the party leadership.
However, Gou’s is considered a long-shot candidacy, with independents lacking the local political networks intrinsic to Taiwanese politics and most citizens wary of closer ties with China.