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May 29, 2017

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Hon Hai let down by senior execs in bribe-taking scandal

TAIPEI--Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the world's largest contract electronics maker, said Tuesday that it is disappointed with a case involving some of its senior executives accused of taking bribes from suppliers in China.

The company, better known elsewhere as Foxconn Technology Group, which assembles iPhones and iPads for Apple Inc., said it will fully cooperate with a judicial investigation into the case in Taiwan.

"Our company always conducts business conscientiously and is responsible for our shareholders and society. Our employees have been required for a long time to sign legal documents for credible trade with their suppliers," Hon Hai said in an e-mailed statement.

"We are truly disappointed with this abuse and we call on the employees and suppliers involved in the case to cooperate actively in the investigation," the company said.

The statement came after the Taiwanese authorities raided 19 locations, including the residences of those allegedly involved in the case, and questioned more than 10 executives earlier that day.

Prosecutors said that Hon Hai is the plaintiff and victim in the case. The group has already filed lawsuits against some of the executives in question.

The case can be traced to reports in Taiwan's Next Magazine early last year that said James Lee, a general manager of the group, was informed that high-ranking officials with Foxconn's surface-mount technology department (SMT), a department authorized to sign lucrative contracts for equipment used by the company's various business groups, had been soliciting bribes from suppliers on a long-term basis.

Lee immediately reported the matter to Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou, who instructed that an investigation should be carried out.

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