TAIPEI (Reuters) -- Terry Gou, the founder of major Apple supplier Foxconn, resigned as a company board member, the Taiwanese company said on Saturday, less than a week after announcing a bid to be the island's next president.
After months of speculation, Gou, who stepped down as Foxconn's chairman in 2019, announced on Monday he would stand as an independent candidate in a presidential election to be held in January.
In a brief statement, Foxconn said Gou had resigned due to "personal reasons," and noted he had "officially handed over leadership of the group to a professional manager four years ago."
Gou's campaign team declined to comment.
Asked on Monday about the issue of conflict of interest with Gou being a major shareholder of Foxconn, which has massive investment in China, Gou said he's willing to "sacrifice" his personal assets in China in the event of a Chinese attack.
"I have never been under the control of the People's Republic of China," he said. "I don't follow their instructions."
Gou is the fourth person to throw his hat in the ring, but his poll numbers before his announcement put him well behind the front-runner, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) William Lai, who is currently vice president.
Gou has repeatedly accused the DPP of courting war with China, which claims the island as its own territory, with an antagonistic stance towards Beijing.
The DPP-led government, and Lai, have repeatedly offered talks with China but been rebuffed, as Beijing views them as separatists.
Gou has this week been trying to unify the opposition against the DPP, but so far no agreements have been reached.
The other two candidates are former Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je of the small Taiwan People's Party, and Hou Yu-ih of Taiwan's main opposition party the Kuomintang, which traditionally favors close ties with Beijing.