Sat, Apr 27, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Gou apologizes for ‘harem’ remark after online furor


Delia Tseng, wife of Hon Hai Group chairman Terry Gou, smiles at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport upon her return from Japan yesterday.

Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times

Hon Hai Precision Industry (鴻海集團) chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) yesterday apologized after his dismissal of his wife’s opposition to his presidential bid with the remark “the harem should not meddle in politics” drew criticism.

“I would like to solemnly apologize to those who feel offended [by what I said]. I have used an inappropriate metaphor. I would like to apologize for that,” he said.

Gou on Wednesday last week made a surprise announcement that he plans to run for president after declaring the sea goddess Matsu urged him to do so.

The plain-speaking 69-year-old tycoon is seeking the nomination of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) for the January next year polls.

However, Gou’s wife, Delia Tseng (曾馨瑩), appeared to be none too happy with his foray into politics.

In a series of TV interviews aired on Thursday, Gou said Tseng had left home after he made the announcement.

“My biggest challenge now is my wife who has already left home,” he told local channel ECB.

In response to media queries for his reaction to his wife’s departure, Gou was quoted by local Chinese-language media as saying that “the harem should not meddle in politics.”

Those comments sparked a backlash on social media.

“Who does chairman Gou think he is? If he wants to be an emperor he should go to China to replace [Chinese President] Xi Jinping (習近平),” feminist campaigner and Social Democratic Party convener Fan Yun (范雲) wrote on Facebook.

“When you wanted to run, you said a woman [Matsu] asked you to, now you are telling women not to meddle in politics,” she added, addressing Gou.

Some Internet users offended by the remarks urged Gou to withdraw from the presidential race.

“How many women are in chairman Gou’s harem? He wants to be an emperor in the Republic of China. He should withdraw,” one post read.

TVBS has reported that Tseng yesterday returned to Taiwan from a trip to Japan, while SETV quoted Gou as saying that he would be home welcoming her back.

Gou later said that Tseng had returned home.

Known for his aggressive dealmaking and often mercurial public appearances, Gou has been snapping up investments from Japan to India in a bid to diversify from electronics assembly.

The bulk of Gou’s investments are in China, employing more than 1 million workers in the country where cheap labor helped fuel his company’s meteoric rise.

Gou was born in 1950 in Taipei to parents who had fled the Chinese Communist Party’s victory in the Chinese Civil War.

He studied shipping management in college while supporting himself with part-time jobs.

He started his business in 1974 making television parts with an investment of NT$100,000 from his mother and later began producing computer parts — eventually growing to become the world’s biggest contract electronics maker.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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