Foxconn will continue to invest in Wisconsin

Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) will continue to invest in Wisconsin regardless of who is elected president of the United States, Chairman Yangwei Liu said at a third-quarter corporate briefing on Thursday (Nov. 12). However, he admitted that the product line established there may change.

Liu Yangwei believes that the current trend of the global industrial chain will develop in the direction of the two systems of “G2” (U.S. and China) respectively, so there is a need for a local U.S. supply chain. “No matter which president is elected in the U.S., we will continue according to our plan unless the state of G2 changes, but we’re seeing now that the state of G2 probably won’t change.”

“Whether it’s Republican or Democrat in Wisconsin, I don’t think the most important thing is which party is in power, the most important thing is whether our products allow us to make money over there, and I think that’s the main thing we have to consider.” He stressed.

In 2017, Hon Hai founder Guo Taiming negotiated an investment deal in Wisconsin with President Trump and then-Republican Governor Scott Walker, when Hon Hai pledged to invest $10 billion in the state to set up a panel factory and create 13,000 jobs.

Just before this year’s US presidential election, several US media outlets reported that Hon Hai’s plans to build a factory in Wisconsin may have changed.

In October, U.S. technology media The Verge reported that Hon Hai did not build the promised 10.5 generation LCD panel production line in the state, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) also found Hon Hai ineligible for tax credits because of its capital in the state. Investment and hiring status falls short of minimum requirements.

Retired Hon Hai founder Kuo, for his part, made a rare personal statement on Oct. 19 that Hon Hai has invested about $750 million in Wisconsin without yet receiving any rent-tax inducements. “Foxconn reaffirms that we will continue to work with President Trump, state and local governments to create more jobs, as well as attract new investment to Wisconsin.”

While Hon Hai pledged to continue to invest in the U.S., Liu Yangwei said nothing about U.S. panel capacity plans at the meeting. “In terms of the compensation for the investment, it has to be able to take into account the interests of our shareholders, our business, and the government, so on top of that, we may go ahead and try to choose different product lines.” Taking questions from the media after the meeting, he said the new product lines must be locally appropriate and competitive, such as telecommunication (telecom), server (server), and AI-related products.

He still stressed that the future of the supply chain production will become a regional production system, the current Hon Hai can do is to build capacity, outside of mainland China, the United States, Vietnam, India, Mexico and other places Hon Hai has already begun to plan the layout of the relevant, when the customer has a demand for the way to provide.