Foxconn Founder Gives Details on Plan to Build Display Plant in U.S.

The founder and chairman of Foxconn, a Taiwanese multinational known as a key supplier for Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and other digital device makers, said Thursday that Foxconn plans to invest more than $10 billion in an electronics display-making plant in the U.S., according to a Reuters report.

Terry Gou, who has led Foxconn since founding the company in 1974, told reporters at his company’s annual shareholder meeting that it will decide where it will build the factory by the end of July. Foxconn would reportedly invest the money over a five-year period.

His comments follow last week’s news that Wisconsin is one of the states Foxconn is considering for the plant, which the company has said could create up to 50,000 jobs. Other states in contention include Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, according to Reuters. The Associated Press reported that Foxconn is also looking at sites in Illinois, Indiana, and Texas.

In January, Gou said Foxconn had tentative plans to spend $7 billion or more to build a factory in the U.S. and manufacture electronic displays there.

Up to this point, Foxconn has made few investments in U.S. manufacturing operations. The company has about a million employees in China, many of whom work in Shenzhen. That city is home to factories where iPhones, iPads, and other devices are assembled.

However, Foxconn now reportedly appears to be keen on establishing a major manufacturing presence in the U.S.

“This time we go to America, it’s not just to build a factory, but to move our entire supply chain there,” Gou said at the shareholder meeting, according to Reuters.

Last year, Foxconn acquired the Japan-based television and electronics company Sharp for $3.5 billion. Foxconn has said it is considering making large television panels in the U.S., which currently does not have a sizeable panel-making industry.

According to the AP report, which was also filed from Taiwan on Thursday, Foxconn could set up multiple manufacturing facilities in the U.S. Gou reportedly said that Foxconn’s initial investment agreement would likely cover at least three U.S. states, with at least three other states to follow afterward.

Jeff Buchanan is the editor of Xconomy Wisconsin. Email: jbuchanan@xconomy.com Follow @_jeffbuchanan

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