TAIPEI May 10 China is the best place for
expanding manufacturing and investment, the country's premier
told Foxconn, the world's largest contract electronics maker,
less than two weeks after its chief executive Terry Gou went to
the White House to discuss increasing investment in the United
"We will continue to expand our development, and optimize
the business environment. China has a huge market and lots of
talent, it is the best investment place for expanding
manufacturing," Li Keqiang was summarized as saying on the State
Council's official website, which carried pictures of Li's visit
on Tuesday to Foxconn's sprawling manufacturing facility in
Zhengzhou, Henan province.
The pictures showed Li being escorted by Gou around the
facilities and the State Council statement saying that Li
encouraged Gou to further invest in its high-end research and
development as well as in supply chain production in China.
Despite the recent rapprochement between U.S. President
Donald Trump and China President Xi Jinping over North Korea
issues, China remains a competitor to the United States under
Trump's "America first" agenda.
Analysts have said that Gou treads a fine line in balancing
his business empire that straddles both the United States and
Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co
, is a major supplier to Apple Inc. China is
the base for its assembly of Apple's iconic iPhones, and where
Foxconn employs about a million people.
Li's visit comes after Gou visited the White House with
senior Foxconn executives to discuss significant investments in
the U.S. in late April.
At the time, Gou told Reuters when he emerged from meetings
at the White House for a second day that Foxconn was planning
"capital-intensive" investments in America and that details
could be announced in a few weeks.
"After we select the location, the White House will make an
announcement," Gou said.
Foxconn is also in the running as a suitor for Toshiba
Corp's chip business. People familiar with the deal
have told Reuters that Foxconn is considered a U.S. security
risk due to ties with China.
(Reporting by Jess Macy Yu; Editing by Michael Perry)