Higher power: Foxconn boss Terry Gou says “sea goddess” asked him to run for Taiwan’s top political office

The stock price for Foxconn’s Shanghai-listed arm went up nearly 10% today after Terry Gou confirmed he is running for office

Credit: DFIC

Foxconn, a major supplier to Apple and other global tech companies, today witnessed a stock rally after its boss Terry Gou confirmed that he plans to run for Taiwan’s top office next year.

The share price of Foxconn Industrial Internet, which is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, has gone up 9.95% today, hitting the highest mark since last July. FIH Mobile Limited, a Foxconn entity listed in Hong Kong, has shot up 28% today.

The self-made billionaire, now the third richest man of Taiwan, during a visit to a Sea Goddess (Mazu) temple in his hometown, said that the Sea Goddess had recently paid him visits in his dreams.

Gou, a faithful believer of the mighty Sea Goddess said that in these dreams, Mazu told him that 2020 would be an important year and he should come out to help the Taiwanese by doing good deeds to maintain peace and stability across the strait. “I will certainly follow Mazu’s instructions,” he said, according to Taiwanese newspaper China Times.

The Sea Goddess Mazu is a Chinese deity worshipped originally among seafarers and their families. The worship spread throughout coastal regions in Greater China and Chinese communities throughout Southeast Asia. The Sea Goddess is particularly popular in Taiwan and reportedly has more than 16 million followers there.

Gou and Foxconn have so far denied the self-made billionaire’s plan to step down “in the coming months,” which was reported by Reuters yesterday. But if the tech mogul were to run for office, he would be effectively withdrawing from Foxconn’s operation.

The potential leadership run could also have big implications for Foxconn’s business in China. Beijing does not recognize the legitimacy of the Taiwanese government and sees it as part of its territory. Should Gou be nominated, Foxconn, which now has more than 30 factory compounds in the mainland, may face political risks.

Editor: Nadine Freischlad