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China launches tax probe into Apple iPhone maker Foxconn


Chinese authorities have launched multiple investigations into iPhone-maker Foxconn’s tax and land use, sources told local news site Global Times.

Tax authorities inspected Foxconn’s sites in the provinces of Guangdong and Jiangsu, and natural resources officials have conducted on-site investigations in Henan and Hubei, the anonymous sources told Global Times.

Foxconn’s flagship iPhone plant, “iPhone City,” is a massive factory in Zhengzhou, China, that’s located in the Henan province.

Other Chinese-based Foxconn factories produce iPads and iPods, the Nintendo Switch, the Amazon Kindle and Echo Dot, PlayStation game consoles, BlackBerry smartphones and Sony devices, among other techie products.

Chinese state media has suggested that the probe could be politically motivated, as Foxconn’s billionaire founder Terry Gou announced his bid to be Taiwan’s president in August.

Gou, 73, previously entered the presidential race in 2019 — the same year he stepped down as Foxconn’s chief executive — but dropped out after he failed to win the nomination for Taiwan’s main opposition party, the Kuomintang KMT, per Reuters.


Chinese tax authorities have probed Foxconn’s sites in the provinces of Guangdong and Jiangsu, and natural resources officials have conducted on-site investigations in Hubei and Henan, where its largest iPhone factory is located.
AFP via Getty Images

He’s now running as an independent candidate on the ballot, Reuters reported, though poll numbers put him well behind front-runner William Lai — the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP), who is currently vice president.

Gou’s support rating sits at just 7%, according to Formosa, a leading Taiwanese pollster.

Gou, who’s worth $6.65 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index, retained a 12.5% stake in Foxconn when he stepped down.

Though Global Times pointed to some who believe that the tax investigations are because of his 2024 presidential candidacy, the outlet also cited experts that called the probe “normal and legitimate.”

Meanwhile, China last month banned the use of iPhones for government officials on the clock — a move that sent Apple’s market capitalization plunging by $200 billion.

The Post has sought comment from Foxconn and Apple.

Gou’s presidential candidacy comes as tensions are growing over Taiwan’s independence from China.

When he announced his bid on Aug. 28, Gou vowed: “Give me four years and I promise that I will bring 50 years of peace to the Taiwan Strait and build the deepest foundation for the mutual trust across the strait.”


Chinese state media has suggested that the probe could be politically motivated, as Foxconn's billionaire founder Terry Gou, 73, announced his bid to be Taiwan's president in August.
Chinese state media has suggested that the probe could be politically motivated, as Foxconn’s billionaire founder Terry Gou, 73, announced his bid to be Taiwan’s president in August.
AP

“Taiwan must not become Ukraine and I will not let Taiwan become the next Ukraine,” he added in a plea to Taiwan voters, according to Reuters.

Though Gou conducts much of his business in China and has made massive investments in the country — where Foxconn is largest private employer and exporter — he remains vehemently on team Taiwan.

In the run up to the election, Gou has said he’s willing to “sacrifice” his personal assets in China in the event of a Chinese attack.

“I have never been under the control of the People’s Republic of China,” he said. “I don’t follow their instructions.”



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