Foxconn Founder Calls Facebook’s Libra “A Great Opportunity for Taiwan”

Coindesk is reporting that Terry Gou, who founded electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn in 1976, told attendees at Taiwan’s technology association AGM in Taipei October 3rd that he thinks the country should welcome Facebook’s Libra with open arms.

“I know (Facebook CEO Mark) Zuckerberg pretty well, and I hope we can bring Libra to Taiwan in the future,” said Gou.

Gou said that a Libra presence in Taiwan would enhance the country’s reputation as a financial hub. He also said Taiwan could act as a bridge between Libra and a cryptocurrency reportedly being developed by the People’s Bank of China, that country’s central bank:

“Mainland China has decided not to accept Libra and build its own digital currency…That creates a great opportunity for Taiwan as we can become a place where the two separate systems converge.”

In order to lay the proper groundwork for Libra and similar ventures, Gou said, Taiwan regulators should generate and pass a supportive legal framework.

Foxconn has more than one million employees and provides or has provided hardware manufacturing for Blackberry, Apple, Nintendo and many other companies. According to Coindesk, the company is worth $33 billion USD and brought in revenues of $173 billion USD last year.

There have been some human costs in the Foxconn success story, however.

Foxconn and Apple were roundly criticized in 2010 after several employees at a Foxconn factory in Shenzhen committed suicide onsite.

Labour rights sources told Reuters in 2010 that 14 employees had committed suicide at Foxconn factories in China.

That same year, Shanghaiist reported on Foxconn security guards allegedly  caught beating workers at the company’s factories.

Foxconn has its own “blockchain” initiatives and does some amount of business with other “blockchain” firms.

A Foxconn subsidiary built a “blockchain” smart phone for Sirin Labs. The phone sold poorly, however, and Sirin Labs founder Moshe Hogeg has since become embroiled in a series of lawsuits brought by investors accusing him of profligate spending and mismanagement.

Gou said businesses involved with semiconductors and cryptocurrencies like his would benefit from a blockchain-friendly political stance in Taiwan.

He also said he plans to establish a “blockchain” curriculum and write a textbook for use at the Terry Gou Institute, an education initiative Gou says he is embarking on to support development of Taiwan’s next generation of great leaders.

“Blockchains” are a type of encrypted and distributed database software. The technology is considered very promising by some and of limited utility by others.

“I have been in talks with many venture capital firms and they want to find better investments and create job opportunities for young people in Taiwan,” Gou said.

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