News Column

Foxconn Reacts to Sad Sales With Mass Prayer

April 12, 2013

Terry Gou, the chairman of Foxconn Technology Group, led hundreds of employees in a mass prayer to a Chinese deity Friday as disappointing sales reported this week caused his company's stock to hit an eight-month low.

Shares of the Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, the largest listed company of Gou's Foxconn conglomerate, dropped 2.4 per cent Friday on the Taiwan Exchange to its lowest level since August.

Gou, a devout Taoist, paid for the sojourn of a 500-year-old image of Lord Guan from China's Shanxi Province to Taiwan. Lord Guan is considered by Chinese to be the go-to god for fortuitous business ventures.

The chairman helped to carry the wooden carriage that housed the deity to Foxconn's headquarters in New Taipei. At least 200 employees bowed and burned incense as firecrackers and beating drums accompanied the traditional procession.

The world's largest electronics contract manufacturer on Wednesday posted a 19-per-cent decline in first-quarter sales compared with the same period a year earlier.

Hon Hai's disappointing revenue could be an indicator of order cuts from Apple Inc, its main client. Analysts have estimated that 40 to 70 per cent of Hon Hai's revenues come from the assembly of Apple products, such as iPhones and iPads.

Apple missed Wall Street sales estimates in the fourth quarter as iPhone shipments lagged behind expectations.

Jamie Wang, an analyst at the research firm Gartner Inc, said Foxconn should reduce its reliance on Apple. The company is currently trying to sell flat-screen televisions to diversify its product portfolio.

"They need to find new business energy or momentum," she said. "Of course, they are worried about the iPhone. They can sense that the product's aura isn't as invincible as before."

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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