Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., trading as Foxconn Interconnect Technology (FIT) Group, is a Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturing company headquartered in Tucheng. Popularly known as Foxconn, the company has agreed to buy Los Angeles-based Belkin International for $866 million in cash.
Belkin, based in California, has been around for 35 years with more than 700 patents in its portfolio and is known today for creating an array of computer and phone accessories, including wireless chargers, laptop docks, and phone cases. Belkin purchased Linksys, which is well known for its home routers.
Belkin is known for having a broad range of device connectivity and power products under the Belkin, Linksys, Wemo and Phyn brands. Foxconn expects to enrich its portfolio of premium consumer products and accelerate its penetration into the smart home by leveraging Belkin’s research and development capabilities and consumer insights operations.
The deal is also a continuation of Foxconn’s transition from being primarily a contract manufacturer for companies like Apple towards one that has brands of its own.
Foxconn acquired Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp. in 2016 and last year announced that it would build a $10 billion LCD panel manufacturing campus in Wisconsin to sell televisions and displays in the U.S. market. The company has emphasized the potential of 8K resolution displays and 5G data connections to combine and produce new solutions in a variety of industries beyond consumer electronics. That’s a major shift for Foxconn, taking it from a behind-the-scenes manufacturing partner to the owner of three major consumer brands.
Foxconn will focus on the new “smart home” business by combining the existing Linksys and Wemo businesses with some of its own assets Belkin CEO and founder Chet Pipkin will stay on as CEO of the new FIT subsidiary.