The boss of Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn is stepping down in order to run in upcoming presidential elections in Taiwan.
Terry Gou will run in the primaries for the opposition Kuomintang party running on a more pro-China line. Gou credited Buddhist sea goddess Mazu for inspiring him to promote peace across the Taiwan straits.
If the tech titan wins selection, he will run off against sitting president Tsai Ing-wen in January 2020.
According to the Beeb, Gou said: “Three days ago, Mazu came to me in a dream. Mazu doesn't want Taiwanese society to be so difficult. Mazu told me to come out and do something." He said the goddess had nurtured him from a child to a grown man. "I am Mazu's godson. I want to do more for Taiwan's people. I will definitely follow Mazu's instructions." He is expected to take a more pro-Beijing line than the current president.
Gou is one of Taiwan's richest people. Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn employs over a million people manufacturing iPhones for Apple and hundreds of other devices and components for other companies including Nokia, Xiaomi and Nintendo.
The election comes at a time of increasing tension with China, which still regards Taiwan as part of its territory. China cut off direct communications with the island in 2016.
Foxconn made a profit of just over $2bn in the last quarter of 2018, 12.6 per cent lower than the same period in 2017 but still better than analysts expected. Consumer demand was seen as generally weak and iPhone sales were especially slow in the period. Despite this, revenue for the year was $152bn. ®