Google, as revealed on January 5, has invested in the Foxconn subsidiary Ennoconn Corp., marking the first time for the search giant to invest in a company listed on Taiwan Stock Exchange.
Founded in 1999, Ennoconn started as an industrial motherboard designer and a total hardware system solution provider focusing on various markets, including industrial automation, kiosk, and ATMs. In 2007, it was partially acquired by Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics manufacturer. As of 2021, Ennoconn was also the largest industrial comparer company by revenue: data from December 2021 indicates that the company’s revenue increased 13% annually to US$418 billion.
In recent years, Ennoconn has set its sight on industrial metaverse, and has been been seeking to transform itself from a manufacturer of industrial computers to a solution provider integrating software and hardware. In October 2021, Ennoconn already entered a strategic partnership with Google, migrating its management and production activities to Google Cloud, and leveraging Google Glass in its production process.
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Ennoconn also plans to manufacture Google’s Enterprise Edition 2 smartglasses. With the product, the Foxconn subsidiary aspires to capture 10% of the industrial AR/VR hardware market. In the future, as a part of the strategic partnership, Ennoconn also plans to become a main distributer of Google Meet and develop hardware oriented around the video communication service.
The announcement on January 4 saw a closer alignment between Google and Ennoconn: the American search giant acquired a 4.6% stake in Ennoconn via private placement, becoming its third largest investor. At US$8.22 per share, Google has invested a total of US$39.9 million in Ennoconn.
The occasion also marks the second time Google conducted a major transaction with a listed company in Taiwan since its US$1.1 billion deal in 2018 in which Google acquired HTC’s smartphone business.