His complex in China turns out iPhones and PCs, powering the biggest exporter you've never heard of
By JASON DEAN
August 11, 2007
Past a guarded gate on the outskirts of this city sits one of the world's largest factories. In dozens of squat buildings, it churns out gadgets bearing technology's household names -- Apple Inc.'s iPods and iPhones, Hewlett-Packard Co.'s personal computers, Motorola Inc. mobile phones and Nintendo Co. Wii videogame consoles. Few people outside of the industry know of the plant's owner: Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. With a work force of some 270,000 -- about as big as the population of Newark, N.J. -- the factory is a bustling testament to the ambition of Hon Hai's founder, Terry Gou. In an era when manufacturing has been defined by outsourcing, no one has done more to shift global electronics production to China. Little noticed by the wider world, Mr. Gou has turned his company into China's biggest exporter and the world's biggest contract manufacturer of electronics. Hon Hai's revenue has grown more than 50% a year in the past decade to $40.6 billion last year. It is expected to add $14 billion in revenue this year. That is roughly the equivalent of Motorola's adding, within a year, the sales of CBS Corp.
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