Foxconn is the trade name of Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Since 2005, it has held the status of Taiwan's largest company, employing over one million people, including over 700,000 in Taiwan. It is the world's largest contract electronics OEM, manufacturing components (connectors and housings) and assembling high-tech products by order of fabless companies, which in turn develop and sell products. The company ranks among the top 10 computer component manufacturers. Terry Gow has been the head of the company since its founding in 1974 and is also its largest shareholder.
The company was founded by Terry Gou in 1974 in Taipei's Tucheng Industrial Zone. Initially it produced plastic parts for televisions and was called Hon Hai Plastics Corporation. The following year the product range began to expand and the name was changed to Hon Hai Industrial Corporation. In the late 1970s, computer companies in the US and Europe began moving production to Asia, particularly Taiwan, to cut costs and Gou decided to make his company a sub-contractor in the manufacture of computer parts. In 1981, Hon Hai, taking the trade name Foxconn, began manufacturing computer connectors, and cable production was also mastered in 1982. By the end of the 1980s most of the leading computer manufacturers had become Foxconn customers. In 1988 Hon Hai became the first Taiwanese company that opened a plant in PRC (wages in Taiwan were getting higher and the competitiveness of products decreased respectively). The company went public in 1991, listing its shares on Taiwan Stock Exchange with Goh retaining a 25% stake. The proceeds from the IPO were used for Hon Hai's international expansion, opening two more factories in China, in Shenzhen and Kunshan, in 1993. In 1994, Foxconn opened R&D centres in the United States and Japan. In 1996, the company began manufacturing enclosures for personal computers and the following year Foxconn became one of the world leaders in this area, with customers including IBM, Dell, Apple and Compaq. In 1998 Foxconn opened factories in the UK and in 1999 in the USA and Ireland. In 2000, it opened a factory in the Czech Republic to manufacture chassis for Apple computers, also bought an Intel motherboard factory in Puerto Rico and began assembling PlayStation 2 game consoles for Sony. In 2001, it began manufacturing components for mobile phones and in 2003 it bought the Motorola factory in Mexico.
In 2006, Hon Hai took over Premier Image Technology Corporation, a Hong Kong-based camera company. In 2007, new Foxconn factories appeared in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Mexico, Brazil, India and Vietnam.
In 2010, the opening of a factory in Russia took place. In 2012, the plant occupied rented space in Shushary, the construction of its own building was suspended for a number of reasons.
In 2016, Foxconn acquired 66% of Japanese Sharp for 388.8 billion yen ($3.47 billion).