Foxconn announces plans for new $8.8bn television flat-panel factory in Guangzhou
Founder Terry Gou says the investment is aimed at increasing production to meet expected rising demand for large-screen televisions and monitors
Terry Gou, the founder of Foxconn Technology Group, the world’s largest contract assembler of consumer electronics including Apple iPhones and iPads, said on Friday that Chinese local authorities are showing a high level of efficiency and more sincerity compared with their US counterparts when it comes to attracting foreign investment, including in manufacturing and hi-tech industries.
Gou was speaking in Guangzhou as the municipal government signed a framework agreement with Japan’s Sakai Display Products Corporation (SDP) – which is mostly owned by Gou personally – to build a US$8.8 billion television flat-panel screen factory in the city, which will make advanced liquid-crystal displays with technology from Sharp Corp, the Japanese electronics brand bought this year by Foxconn.
SIO International Holdings Limited, Gou’s investment firm became a majority shareholder of SDP in 2012.
Gou said it took officials from Foxconn – which is formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co – just 50 days to finalise details on the deal with Ren Xuefeng, the party head of the municipal government.
“You can see the efficiency of Chinese officials and governments, and their dedication to promoting the economy and high-technology industry, the US government need to see that,” Gou said.
He said the new facility – partly subsidised by the local authorities – will deliver the world’s most advanced display screens, smart TVs and electronic whiteboards when it begins operation in 2019.
It is expected to reach an annual production value of 92 billion yuan when fully operational.
Gou said it has yet been unable to establish an industrial base in the US to produce such advanced display screens, even though the country is the biggest market for the display products.
“The US needs to develop such an industry.” he said.
Asked about whether any US plans were in the pipeline, Gou said he planned to wait and see how the new Donald Trump administration beds in, before making any decisions.
“To set up factories in US or not? – I have no idea right now, as the new government has not come in yet.”
He also reiterated Foxconn’s commitment to continually investing in the company’s China operations, where it has most of its assembly lines.
Using the Pearl River Delta as a base, Foxconn is transforming its business into a leader in industrial internet of things, connected car technology, and building ecosystems for smart lives.
Guangzhou mayor Wen Guohui said the city has been “actively developing its big data, cloud computing, imaging, artificial intelligence and internet of things-related industries...The municipal government will offer its full support to the project”, he added.
Gou said the new facility will bring together SDP’s expertise in 8K production technology, Foxconn’s manufacturing capabilities and Sharp’s century-old brand heritage and experience to develop innovative products and solutions to meet increasing demand for ultra-high resolution display products and solutions.
He said ultra-definition display technology will redefine the standard and quality of the on-screen viewing experience.
Globally, he said the 8K technology market is expected to be worth US$5.15 trillion by 2020.
Goo’s comments come amid calls by US President-elect Trump to impose 45 per cent tariffs on goods made in China as a means to encourage more tech manufacturing to the US.