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Sharp seeks rebirth as Apple-style tech brand

Ex-Foxconn leader pushed closure of refrigerator plant despite being profitable

Sharp will end refrigerator production at its Yao plant in Osaka next fiscal year, keeping only R&D and service operations there. (Photo by Tomoki Mera)

OSAKA -- Sharp's decision to withdraw from white goods production in Japan reflects CEO Tai Jeng-wu's ambition to transform the company into a technology specialty house like Apple.

The announcement to move refrigerator production abroad comes on the back of a rapid earnings recovery at the Osaka-based electronics maker. Instead of resting on the success, however, Taiwanese parent Hon Hai Precision Industry, or Foxconn, seeks to further bolster earnings by pursuing a clear division of labor within the group.

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