Foxconn founder qualifies for Taiwan's presidential election

Hon Hai Precision Industry founder Terry Gou has collected enough valid signatures to qualify to officially run in Taiwan's presidential election in January next year.

The founder of the world's largest contract electronic devices manufacturer, also known as Foxconn, expressed his intention to run as an independent candidate.

Gou garnered more than 1.03 million signatures from eligible voters.

On Tuesday, the Central Election Commission announced that more than 900,000 of the signatures meet the requirements, far exceeding about 290,000 required to secure his candidacy.

Gou thanked his backers in his social media post and said 1 million people entrusted him with the historic responsibility of restructuring Taiwan.

Election officials will accept applications from presidential candidates between November 20 and 24. Attention is focused on whether Gou, who ranks fourth in opinion polls, will actually file his candidacy.

The largest opposition Kuomintang party has picked the mayor of New Taipei City, Hou Yu-ih, as its candidate.

The Taiwan People's Party, the third-largest force in the legislature, has decided to field former Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je.

While the two parties are effectively running their own campaigns, they are also holding talks on whether to field a unified candidate.

The ruling Democratic Progressive Party has named Taiwan Vice President Lai Ching-te to run in the presidential race.

Some analysts say a larger number of candidates could offer an advantage for Lai.