United States expansion might top $10 billion — Foxconn founder

Reuters

Reuters

Asked later at a news conference how much Foxconn might invest during the five-year plan, he said it might exceed $10 billion.

The Taiwan-based firm has been eyeing USA investments for some time and its CEO, Terry Gou, had previously said the company hoped to spend over $7 billion to set up a display-making plant in the country - which has no panel-making industry but is the No.2 market for televisions. That announcement triggered a flurry of lobbying by state leaders hoping to attract the investment, which he said might generate as many as 50,000 jobs.

Addressing Japanese government concerns about an outflow of sensitive technology due to Taiwan-based Hon Hai's links to China, Gou dismissed such speculation. The company raised its profile with its purchase in March 2016 of struggling Japanese electronics brand Sharp for $3.5 billion.

At a meeting of shareholders, Gou said "It is not a done deal yet".

Earlier this year, Japan's biggest auto maker Toyota Motor Corp. highlighted its plan to invest $10 billion in the US over the next five years.

The Taiwan-based company has been eyeing US investments for some time, and Chairman and Chief Executive Terry Gou visited the White House for talks in April.

The world's largest maker of iPhones is lining up $10 billion or more of investment across several USA states, starting with a decision by July on the location for a $7-billion display-making plant.

According to commentators, a plant in the Midwest would mark a victory for president Donald Trump and his effort to bring jobs back to US.

Following his initial plan, sources told the Nikkei Asian Review that Foxconn and its Japanese subsidiary Sharp were now planning to build a panel facility that makes mid-sized displays for smartphones and cars, and another factory to produce large-sized TV screens. Gou said in January that Pennsylvania was the leading candidate for the panel factory, which would work with Sharp. Gou said Thursday that revenue and profit this year would be better.

Expansion into the United States would reduce Foxconn's reliance on China, where it has the bulk of its operations and employs about 1 million people.

Toshiba chose Bain Capital and Japanese government investors as its preferred investment group to sell the unit to yesterday.

Toshiba is trying to sell the chip unit to raise cash due to losses by its US nuclear power unit, Westinghouse Electric Co.

"It is not a done deal yet".

Terry Gou, founder and chairman of Foxconn speaks during a news conference, in Taipei, Taiwan June 22, 2017.

The Toshiba Corp. board's choice of a U.S. A day earlier, Toshiba said it had chosen as its preferred bidder a consortium that includes a Japan-backed investment fund and a state-owned bank.

"I am bringing next-generation automated production and a comprehensive panel supply chain to the United States", the Taiwanese tycoon said, without mentioning whether the investments will be connected to iPhone maker Apple.

Western Digital filed the lawsuit with a California court last week. Toshiba has accused Western Digital of interfering with its sales efforts.

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