USA expansion might top $10 billion — Foxconn founder

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

Terry Gou, whose company is best known as the assembler of Apple's iPhones and other electronics, said Thursday the Toshiba board's choice of a U.S. Gou announced plans for the factory in January, setting off a scramble by leaders of several states to attract the investment, which he said might generate as many as 50,000 jobs. The company raised its profile with its purchase in March 2016 of struggling Japanese electronics brand Sharp for $3.5 billion.

Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, is now considering Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina as possible locations, Gou told reporters after the company's annual shareholders meeting on Thursday.

The chairman of Taiwan's Foxconn said Thursday it expects to release investment plans by early August for at least three USA states.

"We still have a big chance", he said at Thursday's meeting of the Toshiba quest, adding there were still "a lot of variables".

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.

The founder of Foxconn, whose main listed arm is Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, is now weighing the pros and cons of locating the factory in one of several USA states, including Wisconsin. Gou said in January that Pennsylvania was the leading candidate for the panel factory, which would work with Sharp.

Foxconn already has operations in Pennsylvania.

Foxconn has joined the competition to win Toshiba's semiconductor unit, but it is not the favorite to take over due to fears in Tokyo that the Taiwanese company could leak advanced technology to China through its huge mainland operations.

Gou said that no deal has yet been struck, so Hon Hai still has a chance to acquire Toshiba Memory Corp., the Japanese firm put up for sale to make up its losses resulting from nuclear power investment in the US market.

"The billionaire blasted government agencies for pushing an in-house deal, saying it was "'minority of bureaucrats" who're promoting a Japanese-led offer. Toshiba is selling the lucrative operation due to losses at its USA nuclear power unit, Westinghouse Electric Co.

"It is not a done deal yet".

Gou said that he was code-naming Foxconn's USA investment initiative "flying eagle", adding that he wants to manufacture in America to be "closer to the market".

Foxconn's USA ambition, which Mr. Gou flagged in January, comes amid a flurry of US investments announced by Asian companies as President Donald Trump calls for a revival of American manufacturing. -Japanese consortium faced opposition, including from Japanese banks. It owns SanDisk chip operations that have a joint venture with Toshiba in Japan and says the company has no right to transfer that venture without the American partner's consent.

He said that he met three governors in four days in early June in the western Japanese metropolis of Osaka to discuss details. Toshiba has accused Western Digital of interfering with its sales efforts. A rash of worker suicides also brought criticism. Get twice-daily updates on what the St. Louis business community is talking about.

  • Zachary Reyes