If selected, Gou will likely compete with reigning Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in the January 11 elections.
Tsai announced that she would be competing in February of this year after violating local electoral losses in 2018. Her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) saw referenda across the island.
The DPP has traditionally taken steps to formalize Taiwan's de facto independence from China. Since assuming power in 2016, Tsai has been trying to diversify the island's economy and not be too dependent on her big neighbor, while resisting Beijing's aggressive expansionism.
In return, Beijing has exerted pressure on Taiwan by carrying out extensive military exercises across the island, including the liaoning of the aircraft carrier Liaoning through the Taiwan Strait. In his speech in January, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Taiwan to welcome the "peaceful reunification" with China and said independence was a "dead end".
If he becomes president, Gou is likely to be called upon to repair this relationship while Taiwan's traditionally close ties with Washington are maintained.
He will have a better claim than many candidates to do so. Foxconn has made billions through its deep involvement in the Chinese economy, where many of its manufacturing sites are located, and electronics for many American technology companies, most notably Apple.
Gou himself has close ties with the United States and has met US President Donald Trump, who has called him "a friend of mine" and "one of the world's most successful business people."
The People's Daily, a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, said Wednesday that "Gou has a unique advantage in dealing with relations between Taiwan and mainland and the US."
Taiwan elects its next president January 1
Blessings of a Goddess
Gou announced his candidacy this week after visiting a temple in Taipei belonging to the Taoist deity Mazu, the guardian angel of the sailors.
With a bright red vest and a baseball cap bearing the flag of the Republic of China – Taiwan's official name – Gou said Mazu blessed his candidacy.
"When Mazu says you should step up, it's not for the sake of money or personal pleasure," Gou told reporters. "I tell you, I'm like a godson for Mazu … I'll definitely respect Mazu and follow him."
Later he spoke at KMT Headquarters and still wore his cap. Gou said he was ready to participate in the primaries. "
" I am not ready to be appointed (without being elected), I am definitely not ready to be appointed. If I am elected, I will represent the Kuomintang in the 2020 competition, "he said." If I am not elected, that means I have not struggled enough. "
In a statement, Foxconn said that Gou was only for would preside over the president, "if the primary process – which is still determined by the party leadership – is open, transparent and grounded.
"If and when this decision is made, Mr. Gou will run into the KMT's main team to seek the nomination of the party for the president," said a spokeswoman.