espite receiving an endorsement from sea goddess Matsu, Foxconn founder Terry Gou has announced that he will not be taking part in Taiwan’s 2020 presidential election.
The 68-year-old Gou had campaigned for Kuomintang (KMT) nomination but was soundly defeated in the party primary by populist Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu back in June.
Gou left the KMT last week in what many assumed was a move setting the stage for an independent run at the presidency. However, on Monday night, he announced that he would not be joining the race.
“After thoroughly thinking this over, I hope that the society, when choosing a national leader, can return to rational thinking and policy-level debates, so I’ve decided not to participate in the 2020 presidential election,” Gou said in a statement.
Gou running for president would have significantly complicated an election where KMT candidate Han Kuo-yu is already doing poorly in opinion polling against incumbent Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). KMT leaders had urged Gou not to run.
However, Taiwan’s richest man had seemingly already gone all-in for the presidency, resigning as chairman of the company he founded 45 years ago, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., owner of iPhone maker Foxconn.
He even declared that folk diety Matsu (Mazu), protector of fishermen and sailors, had come to him in a dream and expressed her support for his presidential run.
While Gou did not single out the goddess, he thanked and apologized to everyone who had urged him to run. He vowed that he will stay involved in politics and continue to be a passionate supporter of Taiwan.