Foxconn is Confusing the Hell Out of Wisconsin

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Josh Dzieza, writing for The Verge: The secrecy and vagueness are frustrating to critics. How do you prove that Foxconn won’t build an enormous LCD factory during an industry glut or create a research campus larger than MIT in rural Wisconsin other than by pointing out that experts — and even, occasionally, Foxconn executives — say it makes no sense? State House Minority Leader Gordon Hintz recently appointed himself to the board of WEDC, and Foxconn’s continued promises of 13,000 jobs make him palpably furious. Speaking in slow, measured tones in his Madison office as he packed for a trip, he said the state needs to “right-size” the project to something realistic, likely a few hundred research jobs, and that Foxconn needs to be honest about its plans. “For something that had a 25-year payback, building a factory because the president wants you to for reasons that have nothing to do with market viability is insane.” Hintz believes Foxconn is trying to slow-walk the project until 2020, continuing to use it to win Trump’s goodwill in the trade war and waiting to see who’s elected. Foxconn has responded. Nilay Patel, writing for The Verge: Today, Foxconn responded to that piece by… announcing another innovation center in Wisconsin, this one in Madison, the state’s capital. The building, which currently houses a bank, actually sits directly across the street from the Capitol building, and it will continue to house the bank because Foxconn did not announce when it would be moving in. Here are some other things Foxconn did not announce: how much it had paid for the building, how many floors of the building it would occupy, how many people would work there, or what those people would be doing. It did announce that it would be rebranding the building “Foxconn Place Madison,” however.


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