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Sharp to make English its official language in 2023

Foxconn unit eyes greater overseas push under new president

Sharp was acquired by Apple supplier Hon Hai Precision Industry in 2016 amid financial struggles.   © Reuters

OSAKA -- Sharp plans to adopt English as its official language next year, CEO Wu Po-hsuan said Thursday, as the company ramps up efforts to bolster its TV and home appliance business in the U.S. and Europe.

Wu formerly worked for Sharp parent Hon Hai Precision Industry, the Taiwan-based iPhone assembler also known as Foxconn, and became CEO of Sharp in April. He also assumed the position of president following Sharp's general shareholders meeting Thursday.

He unveiled the plan when asked at a later briefing whether he was able to communicate with others in the company. Sharp needs to foster globally competitive talent, he said.

The company will decide later the scope and settings in which English will be used.

Wu said he will mainly be in charge of Sharp's overseas business, though he vowed to continue studying Japanese as well.

The goal is to turn Sharp into a global brand, he said.

Tai Jeng-wu, also from Hon Hai, stepped down as chairman of Sharp effective Thursday. In a message to employees, he said that when he first arrived in Japan in 2016, he had been prepared never to return to Taiwan if he failed to revive Sharp.

The company has since implemented many changes and quickly relisted on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, he said.

Tai said he will respond to any requests for advice from Sharp's new leadership. He revealed that he had contracted the coronavirus and was currently quarantined at a hospital.

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