One thing today in tech — Foxconn's Terry Gou enters 2024 presidential race in Taiwan

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Intel plans to release a new data centre chip next year, brand named Sierra Forrest, that will handle more than double the amount of computing work that can be done for each watt of power used, Reuters reports.

Asus yesterday refuted a report from earlier this week out of Taiwan that it would pull the plug on its Zenfone series of Android smartphones, 9To5Google reports.

Terry Gou, the founder of Foxconn Technology Group, one of Apple’s biggest contract manufacturers, which is also expanding its operations in India, is entering the contest to be Taiwan’s next president as an independent candidate, with elections due in 2024.

While the pundits don’t expect the 73-year-old entrepreneur to win, with the current Vice President William Lai of the Democratic Progressive Party seen as the popular candidate, Gou’s entry is significant due to his more conciliatory approach towards China.

“The era of entrepreneur’s rule” has begun, CNBC quoted him as saying at one of the election rally style gatherings he’s been addressing lately.

“I will definitely not allow Taiwan to become the next Ukraine,” he said at a press conference, Associated Press reported yesterday.

Gou founded Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, in 1974 in Taipei, Taiwan. From making electrical components and parts for television sets, the company has grown to become one of the world's largest and most influential electronics manufacturers for customers including Apple, Microsoft and Sony.

In 2022 about 70 percent of $215 billion equivalent of Foxconn’s revenue came from China, according to the Wall Street Journal. In an opinion for Washington Post in July, Gou disagreed with what he described as the policy of the current Taiwanese government, under President Tsai Ing-Wen, to walk away from the One-China framework.

In his view, Taiwan’s long-term future rests with the Chinese. A more pro-China government in Taiwan has significance for India, from giving China greater ability to project its geopolitical power in the Indo-Pacific region to the potential impact on India’s electronics supply chain.

Foxconn entered India in 2006 and set up its first factory in the country at Sriperumbudur, near Chennai. Today the company’s operations range from assembling the latest iPhones to supplying parts for India’s electric vehicle startups such as Ather Energy in Bengaluru.

The company is investing billions of dollars in India, which is looking to establish its own semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem. Foxconn pulled out of a semiconductor fab partnership with India’s Vedanta Group recently, citing delays, which is seen as a bit of a setback for India’s ambitions in this sector, but the Taiwanese company has said it remains committed to growth in India.