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Foxconn: Still Empty, and the Chairman of the Board Needs a Nap

Trump declared that Foxconn in Wisconsin would be the eighth wonder of the world, but one of the world’s true wonders would not depend on empty buildings and it wouldn’t have a leader who needs a nap, but here we are.

Following his earlier examination on Foxconn’s habit of using empty buildings to dupe the gullible, Nilay Patel now reports Foxconn says empty buildings in Wisconsin are not empty (“While announcing another empty building”):

Well, here we are again.

Earlier this week, The Verge published a lengthy investigation into the many “innovation centers” Foxconn has announced in Wisconsin as part of its deal with President Trump to build a (status unknown) LCD manufacturing plant in the state. After spending 10 days on the ground, we simply reported the obvious: most of the “innovation centers” are empty, some of the buildings were never actually purchased, and no one in Wisconsin really seems to know what’s going on.

Today, Foxconn responded to that piece by… announcing another innovation center in Wisconsin, this one in Madison, the state’s capital. The building, which currently houses a bank, actually sits directly across the street from the Capitol building, and it will continue to house the bank because Foxconn did not announce when it would be moving in.

Here are some other things Foxconn did not announce: how much it had paid for the building, how many floors of the building it would occupy, how many people would work there, or what those people would be doing.

Foxconn’s executives must think that Wisconsinites are dimwitted children to persist in these feeble public-relations efforts.

As for Foxconn’s chairman, well, he’s following former Gov. Walker into a period of quiescence:

The seemingly always simmering Foxconn pot bubbled again Monday, this time with a report from Reuters that Terry Gou, the founder who built the firm into one of the world’s largest companies, will step down as chairman in the coming months.

Foxconn denied Gou will give up the chairman post, and said he will “continue to provide strategic direction and guidance.”

But the company’s statement acknowledged that Gou, 68, wants “to withdraw from daily operations” in favor of “a new generation of talent.”

In any event, the latest development may raise questions — again — about the future of Foxconn’s much-watched and heavily subsidized Wisconsin project.

Via Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou will reduce his role at the company, report says.

Oh dearie me.

If this vast project rested soundly on business profitability and fiscal prudence, then the departure of a leader here or there would not matter.  If this vast project rested soundly on business profitability and fiscal prudence, then there would be no need for shell buildings to dupe people.

As this vast project rests only on political schemes and cronyism, it’s doomed to fail.

It should be disappointing in a city of reasonable men and women that a few denizens of 312 W. Whitewater Street and 1221 Innovation Drive claimed otherwise.

Previously10 Key Articles About FoxconnFoxconn as Alchemy: Magic Multipliers,  Foxconn Destroys Single-Family HomesFoxconn Devours Tens of Millions from State’s Road Repair BudgetThe Man Behind the Foxconn ProjectA Sham News Story on Foxconn, Another Pig at the TroughEven Foxconn’s Projections Show a Vulnerable (Replaceable) WorkforceFoxconn in Wisconsin: Not So High Tech After All, Foxconn’s Ambition is Automation, While Appeasing the Politically Ambitious, Foxconn’s Shabby Workplace ConditionsFoxconn’s Bait & SwitchFoxconn’s (Overwhelmingly) Low-Paying JobsThe Next Guest SpeakerTrump, Ryan, and Walker Want to Seize Wisconsin Homes to Build Foxconn Plant, Foxconn Deal Melts Away“Later This Year,” Foxconn’s Secret Deal with UW-Madison, Foxconn’s Predatory Reliance on Eminent Domain, Foxconn: Failure & FraudFoxconn Roundup: Desperately Ill Edition Foxconn Roundup: Indiana Layoffs & Automation Everywhere, Foxconn Roundup: Outside Work and Local Land, Foxconn Couldn’t Even Meet Its Low First-Year Goal, Foxconn Talks of Folding Wisconsin Manufacturing Plans, WISGOP Assembly Speaker Vos Hopes You’re StupidLost Homes and Land, All Over a Foxconn Fantasy, Laughable Spin as Industrial Policy, Foxconn: The ‘State Visit Project,’ ‘Inside Wisconsin’s Disastrous $4.5 Billion Deal With Foxconn,’ Foxconn: When the Going Gets Tough…, The Amazon-New York Deal, Like the Foxconn Deal, Was Bad Policy, Foxconn Roundup, Foxconn: The Roads to Nowhere, Foxconn: Evidence of Bad Policy Judgment, Foxconn: Behind Those Headlines, Foxconn: On Shaky Ground, Literally, and Foxconn: Heckuva Supply Chain They Have There…

2 comments for “Foxconn: Still Empty, and the Chairman of the Board Needs a Nap

  1. joe
    04/17/2019 at 9:47 AM

    Terry Gao isn’t taking a nap at all, but rather just shifting priorities. He is running for president of Taiwan on a China unification platform. He has lots of factories both in Taiwan and on the mainland.

    And…He is now building (or at least promising to build) a HUGE iphone factory in India. Good luck to the Indians on that. I can only imagine the sweetness that they had to lay on Terry to get that deal.

    Former MSN Mayor Dave Cheeze-whizz had the most perceptive observation about Foxconn’s Potemkin “Center of Excellence” on the capitol square. He thinks it is much more likely to be a “Center of Protest” than a “Center of Excellence”.

    • JOHN ADAMS
      04/17/2019 at 10:08 AM

      Thanks for this information. You’ve been ahead of me on all this: (1) about a building in Madison, and now bout Gao’s ambitions. I saw that he said he wanted to step back from daily operations (and so my nap accusation, and sleepy dog picture), but did not see at the time why he wanted to step back from Foxconn.

      I’d say it’s terrible to do to a country what one did with one’s shady business, but then America has her own problem in this regard on a scale much greater than Gao-Foxconn…

      Great info – much appreciated.