Trump Delights in Foxconn; $10m Storm Damage; Buddhist ‘Guru’ Probed

Trump Delights in Foxconn US Investment Hype

Days after one of Taiwan’s largest companies announced plans to build a US$10 billion factory in the U.S., there is speculation that the investment could be tripled in the coming years.

Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer and a key supplier to Apple, last week said it would build a new display manufacturing plant in Wisconsin, potentially employing more than 10,000 people.

According to multiple reports, U.S. President Donald Trump has since told media that Foxconn chair Terry Gou is considering lifting that investment to US$30 billion. It is not clear to what project, or projects, the additional US$20 billion would be allocated.

Storms’ Agricultural Damage Nears US$10m

Officials in Taiwan have estimated agricultural losses from last week’s typhoon and tropical storm will cost the country about US$10 million. Yilan in northeast Taiwan accounted for about US$4 million while Pingtung, Chiayi, Yunlin, Hualien, Taitung and Kaohsiung also suffered significant damage, Central News Agency reports. Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture will make available cash assistance and low interest loans to affected parties in the worst hit areas of Yilan and Pingtung.

Questions Remain About ‘Buddhist Guru’

Followers of a self-proclaimed Buddhist guru in Taiwan are handing over tens of millions of dollars in membership fees and donations to his organization each year, former members of the sect have told The News Lens.

Master Miaochan, founder of Rulaizong, is netting yearly membership proceeds of NT$72 million (US$2.4 million), coupled with monthly donations of as much as NT$86 million (US$2.8 million), the former members say.

The organization, which claims to practice Zen Buddhism, was founded by Miaochan in 2004 and is understood to have about 80,000 followers across Taiwan. Followers of Miaochan credit anything good that happens in their lives — from job promotions to finding love — to the protection and blessing of their master. They claim the leader’s healing powers include curing people who have suffered strokes and those diagnosed with early-stage cancer.