Who is Terry Gou? Foxconn Founder Enters Race to Become Taiwan's President

Terry Gou, the richest man of Taiwan, has announced his candidacy in the upcoming presidential election. Gou, the founder of iPhone maker Foxconn, is the fourth candidate for the top position. The Taiwan presidential election will take place in January 2024.

Gou, the 72-year-old tech billionaire, stepped down from Foxconn in 2019 in an attempt to secure the nomination of the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) in the last election.

Terry Gou
Foxconn founder Terry Gou IANS

Gou said at a press conference he will make Taiwan overtake Singapore within 20 years" and have the highest GDP per capita in Asia. "If Singapore can do it, so can Taiwan. We need to pull the country back to the path of peace and prosperity through this election. Only by doing so can hundreds of industries safely develop and can people live and work in peace and contentment," Gou said, according to IANS.

"Taiwan should absolutely not become Ukraine. I shall never let Taiwan be the next Ukraine ...I can guarantee that I'll bring 50 years of peace to the Taiwan Strait," he added.

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Gou is pitted against Vice President Lai Ching-te of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Taiwan People's Party Chairman Ko Wen-je, and New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih of the China-friendly Kuomintang (KMT).

Gou needs sufficient nominations to officially become a presidential candidate in November.

Founded in 1974, Foxconn grew to become an international business empire, becoming the largest private employer and exporter in mainland China with a workforce of 1.2 million.

As of 2022, Gou had a net worth of $6.8 billion.

In 2019, Gou resigned from Foxconn and joined the Kuomintang (KMT) to run for President. Once described as an "old friend" by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Gou has been characterised as friendly to Chinese business interests during his political and business career.