The chairman of Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn said Thursday it may spend more than $10 billion to set up manufacturing in the United States, and will announce investment plans by early August for at least three states.
Terry Gou gave no new information about where Foxconn will locate a U.S. display panel factory he said in January would cost up to $7 billion to build. That announcement triggered a flurry of lobbying by state leaders hoping to attract the investment, which he said might generate as many as 50,000 jobs.
Foxconn is the biggest contract manufacturer of smartphones and other devices for Apple, Sony, Blackberry and other brands. Its success has made Gou Taiwan’s richest businessman. The company raised its profile with its purchase in March 2016 of struggling Japanese electronics brand Sharp for $3.5 billion.
The company plans to develop operations in the U.S. that combine hardware manufacturing and software development in technologies including artificial intelligence and automation, Gou said at a meeting with shareholders. Asked later at a news conference how much Foxconn might invest during the five-year plan, he said it might exceed $10 billion.
Gou mentioned Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Texas as manufacturing states with which Foxconn hopes to work but gave no indication whether any of them might be in the investment agreement. Gou said in January that Pennsylvania was the leading candidate for the panel factory, which would work with Sharp.
Details for each state were not settled, but overall, “we will provide at least tens of thousands of job opportunities,” said Gou at the news conference.
Expansion into the United States would reduce Foxconn’s reliance on China, where it has the bulk of its operations and employs about 1 million people.