Terry Gou, the founder of Apple supplier Foxconn, quit Taiwan’s main opposition party on Thursday, paving the way for a possible bid to stand in a presidential election as an independent, complicating President Tsai Ing-wen’s prospects.
Gou, Taiwan’s richest person with a net worth of $7.6 billion according to Forbes, has extensive business interests in China and is in known for his close ties with Beijing leaders. He is also known for asserting that self-ruled Taiwan is part of “one China”, a cherished principle for China, while acknowledging Taipei and Beijing have their own interpretations of what that means.
Gou announced his intention to contest the presidential election in April as the candidate for the China-friendly opposition Kuomintang (KMT). But he lost his bid to win the party’s nomination in July… Two people familiar with Gou’s thinking said the 68-year-old billionaire was set to announce his bid to become president as an independent candidate by a Sept. 17 deadline for nominations.
MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, a Gou independent candidacy would appeal to those voters who are dissatisfied with Taiwan’s economy and in favor of closer ties with China. If he runs, we’ll see how many of Taiwan’s voters feel that way and if there are enough of them to elect Gou to the presidency.