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Business

Foxconn confirms it is mulling US investment

Apple supplier addresses speculation after 'leak' by SoftBank chief

TAIPEI -- Hon Hai Precision Industry is thinking about investing in the U.S., the Taiwanese company said Wednesday, after its logo turned up on a document held by SoftBank Group CEO Masayoshi Son in an appearance with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

"We can confirm that we are in preliminary discussions regarding a potential investment that would represent an expansion of our current U.S. operations," said Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn, the world's leading contract electronics manufacturer.

The remark followed a Tuesday meeting between Son and Trump. The duo appeared before reporters afterward, with the SoftBank chief pledging to invest $50 billion in American information technology companies and create 50,000 new jobs.

CNBC showed Son holding a document bearing the SoftBank and Foxconn logos, outlining plans for another $7 billion in investment as well as the creation of 50,000 more jobs over the next four years. The image spread quickly.

"The scope of the potential investment has not been determined," Foxconn stressed in Wednesday's statement. The company "will announce the details of any plans following the completion of direct discussions between our leadership" and relevant American officials, it said.

The plans "would be made on mutually agreed terms," Foxconn said.

Son and Foxconn founder Terry Gou are close. Their companies work together on a number of projects, including a renewable-energy venture in India and SoftBank's Pepper humanoid robot.

Trump is highly critical of Apple for making iPhones in China. The Nikkei Asian Review previously reported that Foxconn, a key supplier to the technology giant, was considering moving some operations to the U.S. Productivity can be raised with robotics and cloud technology, boosting competitiveness there, Gou told Chinese media Nov. 17.

Foxconn shares climbed as far as 1.33% to $83.40 New Taiwan dollars Wednesday before closing up 0.97% at NT$83.10.

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