Former Foxconn exec Alan Yeung writes book on Wisconsin project

Alan Yeung
Alan Yeung

Last updated on March 11th, 2022 at 02:59 pm

Former Foxconn executive Alan Yeung, one of the most prominent executives in the company’s arrival in Wisconsin, has written a memoir detailing the site selection process for the Foxconn project in Mount Pleasant.

Titled “Flying Eagle: How Terry Gou and Foxconn Answered Trump’s Call to Invest and Reshore manufacturing to America,” the book will be published on March 18.

Yeung was director of U.S. strategic initiatives at Foxconn when the company picked Wisconsin and he was among the public faces for the company in the state.

The book offers anecdotes and behind-the-scenes accounts of the decision making that led Foxconn to pick Wisconsin and “promises to offer a stunningly fresh narrative on one of the most controversial business and investment decisions of our time – the nearly impossible feat of bring back an industry that Steve Jobs and others said had left America for good and would never come back,” according to a press release announcing the book’s publication.

In 2017, Foxconn announced plans to invest $10 billion and create 13,000 jobs at a manufacturing facility that would build some of the largest LCD screens in the world. The project repeatedly evolved from that initial vision due to a number of factors, including additional subsidies needed for a glass plant at the Mount Pleasant site, a global oversupply of LCD screens and production capacity and shifting international trade dynamics.

After initially planning to make smaller screens, Foxconn pivoted to making servers and other components and developing business lines around the industrial internet of things.

Under former Gov. Scott Walker, the state of Wisconsin offered the possibility of $3 billion in incentives to support the project, plus other local support and infrastructure investments. The evolving nature of the project led Gov. Tony Evers and his administration to determine the company was not eligible for incentives and a new, smaller deal was negotiated last year.

Yeung’s book will depict “the first phase of Foxconn’s multibillion-dollar investment project in Wisconsin and reveals the tireless and patriotic efforts by many to reshore electronic supply chains and create jobs in the United States,” according to the press release.

“By including my personal experiences, observations and thoughts, I try to describe key actions and events that shaped investment and site selection decisions,” Yeung says on his website says.

“I wish to set the record straight and tell the stories in our own words,” he adds.

Yeung’s book is not the only one to be written on the Foxconn project in Mount Pleasant. In November 2021, journalist Lawrence Tabak published “Foxconned: Imaginary Jobs, Bulldozed Homes, and the Sacking of Local Government.”

Tabak’s publisher, The University of Chicago Press, described the book as “both the definitive autopsy of the Foxconn fiasco and a dire warning to communities and states nationwide.”

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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