Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s biggest contract manufacturer of electronics, announced on Thursday a sponsorship deal with local table tennis player Chuang Chih-yuan (莊智淵) to help nurture more athletes in the country.
Hon Hai, which assembles iPhones and iPads for Apple Inc, said it will offer Chuang NT$6 million (US$204,600) per year over a 10-year period, starting this year.
In addition, the company said, it will spend nearly NT$6 million to upgrade Chuang’s table tennis center in Greater Kaohsiung.
Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) said at a press conference that he was touched by Chuang’s efforts to nurture younger players, despite his limited resources.
There are many people like Chuang in Taiwan, who are doing their work quietly, and are role models in the sports world and prime examples of social responsibility, Gou said.
On the question of whether he plans to build or buy a professional baseball team in Taiwan, Gou said there are too many sectors in Taiwan that need sponsorship and such actions would have to be taken step by step.
In May, Taiwan won its first title at the World Table Tennis Championships in Paris when Chuang and his partner, Chen Chien-an (陳建安), ended China’s run of 10 consecutive title wins.
Before that, only one Taiwanese had ever entered a title match in the biennial event. Chen Jing (陳靜), a former Chinese national, represented Taiwan and won silver in the women’s singles in 1993.
Chen has been attracting growing attention since he beat China’s Zhang Jike, the men’s singles gold medalist at last year’s London Olympics, during the World Team Classic in March.