A self-made billionaire whose factory makes Apple products has been described as ‘the Donald Trump of Taiwan’.
A recent media poll showed that Terry Gou, the boss of Foxconn which makes iPhones and iPads, has a 62 per cent approval rating in Taiwan – while the popularity of the current President Tsai Ing-wen dropped to a record low this week.
66-year-old Gou, worth $6.6 billion (£5.3 billion), is the third richest man of Taiwan and owns three private jets, a fairy-tale castle in Czech Republic and several properties at Taiwan’s most luxurious residential complex.
Self-made billionaire Terry Gou (left) whose factory makes Apple products has been described as the Donald Trump (right) of Taiwan by media
Terry Gou is estimated to be worth $6.6 billion by Forbes. He is the third richest man in Taiwan
According to Taiwan-based Next Magazine, Gou had expressed interests in running for presidency.
Quoting an insider, the magazine claimed on November 16 that Gou had asked his top executives during a recent company meeting: ‘What are your views on me running for presidency in 2020?’
However, Foxconn Technology Group has denied the allegations.
In a statement issued to MailOnline on November 22, the company said: ‘We are aware of recent media reports regarding our Founder and CEO Terry Gou.’
‘We would like to clarify that there is absolutely no truth to the statements made about Mr Gou in those reports.’
However, the Taiwanese media have made various comparisons between their home-grown billionaire and the U.S. President-elect, suggesting that Gou could well be the Taiwanese Donald Trump.
Ironically, Donald Trump vowed to force Apple to keep its production lines inside U.S. borders during his election campaign.
Billionaire Gou was rumoured to have different girlfriends, including Taiwanese top model Chiling Lin (left) and Hong Kong actress Cally Kwong (right)
Gou married his second wife (left), choreographer Delia Tsang, in 2008. The couple have the same age difference as Donald Trump and Melania Trump (right): 24 years
Gou owns three private jets, including the recently purchased G650ER (same model as above)
Unlike Trump, who also owns a luxurious Boeing 757 (above), Gou uses his private jets to show off his wealth as well as his political power
Taiwanese media, such as SETN, spotted striking similarities between Gou and Trump, such as their immense wealth, influential business empires, number of marriages as well as young wives.
Both Trump and Gou are powerful businessmen of their respective nations.
While Trump sat on larger wealth of $26.5 billion (£21.2 billion), Gou’s personal worth of $6.6 billion (£5.3 billion) are accompanied by his influential presence across the Taiwan Strait, making him arguably the most powerful man in Taiwan’s business community.
They were both political outsiders. While Trump is not considered as a ‘mainstream Republican’ by many, Gou is neither a member of Kuomintang nor Democratic Progressive Party, the two dominant parties in Taiwan, according to China Post.
Like Donald Trump, Gou has never been shy to share his personal views publicly.
For instance, Gou made a jaw-dropping proposal in 2012 to purchase the politically sensitive Senkaku Islands, known in China as Diaoyu islands, to solve the long-standing territorial dispute between mainland China, Taiwan and Japan.
Their similarities had even run through their private lives.
They both married more than once and they both have five children. More co-incidentally, they are both 24 years older than their current wife.
The reports had triggered speculation over the possibility of the tycoon becoming Taiwan’s next leader.
A poll showed that 62 per cent of respondents said they would vote for Gou, compared to 24.3 percent that would pick Tsai.
The poll interviewed 519 people and was conducted by Apple Daily.
On the other hand, the popularity of the current President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, dropped to a record low of 26 per cent according to a poll released on Monday by TVBS, reported China Post.
Gou is the chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industry, which owns Foxconn, a major supplier of Apple. Above, a picture taken in 2010 showed the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, China
Workers were seen inside a Foxconn factory in the township of Longhua in the southern Guangdong province, in this file picture taken May 26, 2010
Terry Gou’s company produces both iPhone and iPad for Apple. Above, a new iPhone 7 was seen at an Apple store in Beijing
Terry Gou, also known as Guo Taiming in Chinese, is estimated to be worth $6.6 billion (£5.3 billion) by Forbes. He is the third richest man in Taiwan.
Unlike Donald Trump, who started his career working alongside his father Fred Trump, who was also a successful real estate developer, Gou is a self-made billionaire rising from poverty.
The son of a Taiwanese policeman, Gou started his own company in 1974 with a capital of $7,500 (£6,018), partly funded by his mother-in-law, according to People’s Daily.
The man worked 16 hours a day to turn his small firm into the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer.
It recently acquired a controlling stake in Sharp for 389 billion yen (£3.5 billion) as the first foreign takeover of a major Japanese electronics company.
Foxconn operates assembling factories in mainland China to make Apple’s signature products, including iPhone and iPad, according to Apple website.
However the factories were once widely criticised for their poor working conditions after at least 14 workers had killed themselves around 2010, according to a previous report.
Hon Hai Precision Industry chairman Terry Gou (centre), Vice President Tai Jeng-wu (left) and Sharp President Kozo Takahashi (right) shook hands during the signing ceremony in April
Journalists (in foreground) watched a large video screen showing Terry Gou of the Hon Hai group as he spoke during a shareholders conference at the company’s headquarters in Tucheng in New Taipei City on June 22, 2016
Gou owns three private jets, including his latest purchase – a £148 million G650ER.
Unlike Trump, who also owns a luxurious Boeing 757, Gou uses his private jets to show off his wealth as well as his political power.
His Gulfstream G550 plane is the first private jet which has been allowed to fly across Taiwan Strait, a politically sensitive area, to mainland China, reported CRNTT.
Gou was given a hand-shake by the Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting between the Chinese and Taiwanese officials in 2014.
Gou (left) shook hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) accompanied by Lian Zhan (middle), a former leader of pro-China Kuomintang at a meeting in 2014
Other than the business success, Gou also is renowned for being outspoken.
The entrepreneur once described the labour rights organisations in as ‘running dogs’, according to Apple Daily.
Last year, he was caught in a video yelling at two factory workers ‘you’re fired’ after they had failed to recognise the tycoon and swore at him for interrupting their cigarette break, according to an earlier report.
Gou married his first wife Serena Lin, who comes from a relatively wealthy Taiwanese family at the age of 24. The couple had a daughter and a son.
In 2005, Lin died of breast cancer.
Afterwards, Gou was rumoured to have different girlfriends, including Taiwanese top model Chiling Lin and Hong Kong actress Cally Kwong.
Gou married his second wife Delia Tsang, a choreographer who is 24 years younger than him, in 2008.
The couple have three children, aged from two years old to seven years old.