Foxconn, the Taiwanese manufacturer of iPhones, will shift its focus towards electric cars in the future, in the face of strained relations between the United States and China.
Chairman Young Liu told the BBC in an interview that the firm will bet big on electric cars as it moves supply chains away from China.
“We hope peace and stability will be something the leaders of these two countries will keep in mind,” Liu said. “But as a business, as a CEO, I have to think about what if the worst case happens?”
The company has already begun moving some of its production lines to Mexico and Vietnam, away from China.
Foxconn finds itself in the middle of a bitter dispute. Leaders in Beijing claim Taiwan is part of China, and President Xi Jingping has made repeated pledges of “reunification.” The United States has made it clear it supports Taiwan’s independence and the threat of invasion has loomed over Taiwan for years.
Foxconn was established in 1974 and originally made dials for televisions, but is now one of the most powerful tech companies in the world with revenues of $200 billion. The company makes more than half of Apple’s products, including iPhones and iMacs, and also serves clients such as Microsoft, Dell and Amazon.
The company designs its products in the United States and mostly manufactures them in China, putting it in an awkward position in between the two superpowers.
Liu told the BBC he wants Foxconn to capture around 5% of the global electric vehicle market in the next few years. He expects Foxconn electric vehicle factories to be based in Ohio in the United States, in Thailand, Indonesia, and perhaps India.