Foxconn chief: US-China dispute over tech, not trade

Workers walk past a giant cake to celebrate Taiwan-based contract manufacturing giant Foxconn's 30th anniversary of its first investment in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong province Wednesday, June 6, 2018. The head of Taiwan's Foxconn, which assembles Apple iPhones and other tech products, says Washington's dispute with China is over technology rather than trade. (AP Photo/Kelvin Chan)
Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou, center, prepares to cut a giant cake at an event to celebrate Taiwan-based contract manufacturing giant Foxconn's 30th anniversary of its first investment in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong province Wednesday, June 6, 2018. The head of Taiwan's Foxconn, which assembles Apple iPhones and other tech products, says Washington's dispute with China is over technology rather than trade. (AP Photo/Kelvin Chan)
Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou, second from right, prepare to cut a giant cake at an event to celebrate Taiwan-based contract manufacturing giant Foxconn's 30th anniversary of its first investment in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong province Wednesday, June 6, 2018. The head of Taiwan's Foxconn, which assembles Apple iPhones and other tech products, says Washington's dispute with China is over technology rather than trade. (AP Photo/Kelvin Chan)
Workers cut a giant cake to celebrate Taiwan-based contract manufacturing giant Foxconn's 30th anniversary of its first investment in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong province Wednesday, June 6, 2018. The head of Taiwan's Foxconn, which assembles Apple iPhones and other tech products, says Washington's dispute with China is over technology rather than trade. (AP Photo/Kelvin Chan)

SHENZHEN, China — The CEO of Taiwan's Foxconn, which assembles Apple iPhones and other products for tech companies, said Wednesday that Washington's dispute with China is over technology rather than trade.

Terry Gou's comments at an event celebrating the anniversary of Foxconn's first investment in mainland China follow Beijing's threat to scrap trade deals with Washington if President Trump's tariff hike on Chinese technology products goes ahead.

"This is not a trade conflict but rather a competition and comparison of technology," said Gou in a video shown in the event.

Foxconn Technology Group, also known as Hon Hai President Industry Co., is the world's biggest contract manufacturer of smartphones, computers and other technology products and is trying to develop its own brands.

Gou said he planned to take part in a groundbreaking ceremony at the end of June for a $10 billion factory that Foxconn is set to build in Wisconsin, but he and other executives said nothing else about the company's plans there or other initiatives outside China.

The White House renewed its threat last week to impose 25 percent tariffs on Chinese technology-related goods in response to complaints Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology. It is due to release a list of products on June 15.

The Chinese government warned Sunday it would scrap deals to narrow its trade surplus with the United States by purchasing more American soybeans and other goods if Trump's tariffs went ahead.

In the video, Gou said the "U.S. is significantly ahead of China" in areas such as jet engines and semiconductors.

"If China is to catch up, allow me to speak frankly, it must be in the areas of manufacturing technology, design and manufacturing technology," he said. "They are the real economy."

Foxconn is trying to develop beyond its roots as a low-cost assembler of products and become an advanced manufacturer and bigger player in the global supply chain.

The company says its Wisconsin factory will make liquid crystal display panels for use in computers, TVs and self-driving cars.

___

Associated Press video journalist Dake Kang contributed to this report.

People also read these

Stock markets slide as tech earnings underwhelm

Jul 28, 2017

Asian, European shares slide as concerns spread over Wall Street's tech sell-off

Hong Kong shuts down as powerful typhoon sweeps past

Aug 23, 2017

A powerful typhoon has forced offices and schools to close and canceled hundreds of flights on Hong...

China's ever-tighter web controls jolt companies, scientists

Sep 10, 2017

China's campaign to stamp out use technology that allows web surfers to evade its internet filters...

Workers at iPhone supplier in China protest unpaid bonuses

Oct 19, 2017

Apple vows to investigate underpayment of bonuses at iPhone supplier in China after worker protests

Springer Nature blocks access to articles in China

Nov 1, 2017

Academic publisher Springer Nature says it has blocked access to articles within China to comply...

AseanCoverage is a next-gen news site focusing exclusively on online news from South East Asia.

Contact us: sales[at]aseancoverage.com