Newspaper article China Post

Terry Gou Could Pose Strong Challenge to Tsai

Newspaper article China Post

Terry Gou Could Pose Strong Challenge to Tsai

Article excerpt

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The age of the political outsiders is coming. That's already happened in the United States, where voters have elected the flamboyant, outspoken business tycoon Donald Trump, who had no political credentials whatsoever until the presidential campaign. And it is not unthinkable that the same could happen in Taiwan.

Taiwan is no stranger to political outsiders, after the election of surgeon Ko Wen-je ([...]) as mayor of the capital city two years ago.

Trump's victory has now provoked serious thought in some sectors of society on looking for a political outsider to challenge President Tsai Ing-wen in 2020.

Although Tsai has underperformed since taking office in May, at least one political commentator has pointed out that if the pan-blue camp looks to win back the presidency, none of its existing leaders can be relied on.

Now many pundits are tipping Terry Gou ([...]), chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. ([...]), as a potential challenger to Tsai four years from now.

Such speculation is not without grounds. First, the Trump victory is encouraging, showing that politics is not off-limits to people outside the political establishment. The key is whether the outsider has strong leadership.

Ko has proved himself to be a rather amateurish mayor, despite his claims that he is running Taipei City as "clinically" as if he were leading a team of surgeons at National Taiwan University Hospital.

However, Gou's leadership in the business sector is well established, and the scale of his management is much bigger and more complicated than Ko's in the medical sector.

Gou runs a business empire that employs hundreds of thousands of workers, mostly in mainland China, to make Apple's iPhone and other electronic devices.

The size of Hon Hai's workforce is in fact much larger than Taiwan's entire military. It is often said that the no-nonsense Gou runs his empire military-style - that is, he demands strict discipline and high efficiency from his managers and assembly-line workers. …

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