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A ‘sea goddess’ told Foxconn chief to run for Taiwan president

Tech giant Foxconn’s boss Terry Gou said Wednesday a goddess had told him to run in Taiwan’s presidential election.

Gou dropped a bombshell on the island’s political landscape when he hinted Tuesday that he was considering contesting the polls early next year.

While visiting a temple of the sea goddess Matsu in New Taipei city, Gou said the goddess “told me to step forward … to help the people.”

Terry Gou.

Terry Gou. File photo: Fortune Global Forum 2017, via Flickr.

“The 2020 election is very important. Should I step forward or not? Matsu spoke to me in dreams a few days ago and today that … (I) should look after people who are suffering, give young people hope and maintain cross-strait peace,” Gou, head of major Apple supplier Foxconn, told reporters.

Gou, a supporter of the Beijing-friendly opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party, has said he would follow the party’s nomination procedure if he were to join its primary. He is scheduled to meet with KMT officials later Wednesday.

Incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen, 62, of the Beijing-sceptic Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), has said she will seek re-election in the January 11 polls.

She faces a challenge from pro-independence former premier William Lai in the party’s primaries, and the DPP is set to announce its presidential candidate later this month.

Also known by its official name Hon Hai Precision Industry, Foxconn assembles Apple iPhones as well as parts and accessories for other international brands.

The 69-year-old Gou said Monday he would soon step back from frontline operations while remaining at the helm of the firm.

Known for his aggressive dealmaking, Gou has been snapping up investments from Japan to India in a bid to diversify from electronics assembly.

Gou was born in 1950 in Taipei to Chinese parents who had fled the Communist victory in China’s civil war. He studied shipping management in college while supporting himself with part-time jobs.

He started his business in 1974 making television parts with an investment of Tw$100,000 (US$3,250 at current exchange rates) from his mother, and later began producing computer parts — eventually growing to become the world’s biggest contract electronics maker.

A 'sea goddess' told Foxconn chief to run for Taiwan president