Just a few days after announcing that he will leave his 45-year term as head of Foxconn, Terry Gou has declared his candidacy to run for President of Taiwan. Gou, 68, will participate in the pro-China Kuomintang (KMT) primaries, drawing attention to Taiwan's tension with the mainland where Foxconn has strong commercial ties. Gou's candidacy would seek to dismiss the current Taiwanese president, Tsai Ing-wen, of the Progressive Democratic Party (DPP), which leaned towards Taiwanese independence from China.
"I am willing to participate in the primary election," Gou said at the party headquarters in Taipei on Wednesday. "If I'm not elected, it means I did not work hard enough."
Gou said he was encouraged by the Buddhist goddess Mazu, who is said to influence security and fortune, during a temple visit to participate in the
"Today, Mazu told me that I should be inspired to do good things for people who suffer, to give, young people wait, to support peace across the strait," he told reporters, noting that the goddess He had initially appeared in a dream earlier this week. He also cites economic growth as a way to bring peace and stability to the nation at a time when young people are facing a difficult labor market. As of last year, Taiwan has an unemployment rate of 12 percent for those between the ages of 20 to 24 years. (The minimum age to vote in Taiwan is 20 years for the presidential elections).
If nominated, Gou's candidacy raises several concerns. While it has managed to turn Foxconn into one of the world's largest suppliers of technology products from Apple, Google and Amazon, it has also faced criticism regarding the poor conditions of workers and the uncertain future of the Wisconsin plant. Foxconn However, Gou relies on his trade relations with mainland China and the United States as strengths as he prepares to face more traditional political challenges, including the former mayor of New Taipei, Eric Chu, and former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng .