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Foxconn's Chairman Says Trade Agreement or not, the China-U.S. Tech war will Continue on Several Major Fronts

1 cover - Foxconn  Terry Gou MAY 6  2019 PRESS CONFERENCE


The founder and Chairman of the Foxconn Technology Group Terry Gou stated in a press conference on Monday that he would shut down factories in China and move them elsewhere if Beijing threatens his company’s manufacturing facilities there if he is elected Taiwanese president.  


Gou announced plans mid-April to run as a candidate for Kuomintang, the opposition party, in presidential elections next year. 


To clarify, Gou stated: "If Beijing later threatens to close down my factories after I become Taiwanese president, and says I can't talk to them as a peer in a respectful way … I will tell them to just give me a couple of months and I will move my production sites to more competitive places in the world."


Gou's remarks followed U.S. President Donald Trump's bombshell that he plans to hike import tariffs to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese products beginning on Friday. Trump also threatened to impose 25% additional tariffs on the rest of the $325 billion of Chinese goods that had not been taxed denting hopes of improving trade relations between the superpowers. 


Gou said that those trade negotiations have not collapsed. Gou added that "President Trump’s move on the tariff hike is really a bombshell to the trade talks but it does not necessarily mean the collapse of the negotiations. The trade war might somehow end but the tech competition between the two strong powers will continue … China is likely to open up its market in a massive way while the U.S. will definitely build its own supply chain." 


Gou said on April 30 that he expected the trade conflict between Washington and Beijing to evolve into a technology battle especially in key areas such as fifth-generation technologies, semiconductors, artificial intelligence and supercomputers. 


You have to wonder if Gou's statement about "the U.S. will definitely build its own supply chain," was something that he discussed with President Trump last week.


For more on this, read the full Nikkei Asian Review report here.


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