Intel to buy stake of Foxlink

Intel is in talks with Foxlink to secure it as a supplier and may potentially buy part of the connector company, according to a report by Taiwan Economic News.

Foxlink is run by T.C. Gou, brother of Foxconn chairman Terry Gou, made famous for his wealth and made infamous for the dozens of employee suicides at Shenzhen plants. In a time when many other companies such as Apple, HP, and Dell are trying to disassociate themselves from Gou’s company it seems an unusual move for Intel to partner up with his brother.

Reasons for the move include Intel not wanting to be tied to a single supplier and its interest in Foxlink’s strong mass production ability, but more primarily the fact that Foxconn has been dragging Intel through the coal over several infringements of its patents. This deal may help alleviate such problems, since neither of the Gou brothers want to step on each others’ toes.

In fact, the attempts to avoid upsetting the family have gone to such an extent that Foxlink has limited its business to mobile phones as part of efforts not to compete directly with Foxconn.

However, many notebook manufacturers have approached Foxlink to try to get it to produce connectors for them – they don’t want to pitch in with Foxconn and are unsettled by the monopoly it has developed in the industry.

Some reports cite Foxlink as refusing to comment on the deal, while others have Foxlink completely denying it. The Wall Street Journal spoke to an anonymous Foxlink employee, who said: “The report isn’t true and we’re not in talks to sell a stake to Intel.”

He also said that Foxlink does not make connectors for PCs, suggesting that it will continue its policy of producing for mobiles only.