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Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) buys Belkin, adding routers and smart home products to its portfolio

Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) buys Belkin, giving the electronics manufacturer control over Belkin accessories, Linksys routers, and Wemo and Phyn smart home products.

Published onMarch 28, 2018

  • Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, just bought Belkin and its subsidiary brands for $866 million.
  • The deal makes Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) a brand that markets mobile accessories, routers, and smart home products.
  • The purchased brands will stay the same, but who knows if Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn)’s new ownership will cause conflicts with some of its other clients.

Foxconn assembles an estimated 40 percent of the world’s consumer electronics, making it the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer. Its workload is mostly made up of the assembly of mobile devices, tablets, and gaming consoles, but now it looks like it will be creating routers and smart home products, too. That’s because Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) just bought Belkin for approximately $866 million, and Belkin owns Linksys, Wemo, and Phyn.

Belkin creates many popular mobile accessories, like chargers, cables, and headphones. And most people know Linksys routers from their iconic blue-and-black color scheme, a look which the company still keeps to this day. But you may not be too familiar with Wemo and Phyn.

Wemo is responsible for marketing smart home products like smart plugs and surveillance cameras, some of which are branded under Belkin. And Phyn is exclusively focused on smart home products that deal with water: conservation, leak prevention, and pressure regulation.

The rise of Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) and Terry Gou, and shaking the Apple shackles

The purchase agreement states that all the brands will remain but will now operate as a subsidiary of Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) Interconnect Technology. Even Chet Pipkin, the CEO and founder of Belkin, will remain at his post. So not much should change with this deal if you are a fan of the products under Belkin.

If you're a fan of Belkin or Linksys products, this deal should likely not change much on the consumer side.

Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) has promised to increase R&D spending for all the brands, as well. Eventually, as parts contracts with other companies expire, the Belkin brands will use Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) parts to save money. This will enable Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) to both bolster the Belkin brands’ innovation and product output while securing its own standing in the heavily competitive manufacturing industry.

So far, none of the Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) subsidiary brands directly compete with each other, but Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) is likely not in the good graces of other companies it works with who might feel uncomfortable working with a company that has competing brands underneath it. After all, it does seem a conflict of interest to have Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) assemble your USB cables when it now owns a company that’s well-known for making USB cables.

See also: The beginner’s guide to the smart home

However, Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn)’s key customer, Apple, doesn’t seem too miffed about the fact that Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) has ownership in HMD and Nokia, which create products that compete with the iPhone. So for now, Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) appears to be in the clear.

This isn’t the first time Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) has attempted to broaden its portfolio. In the mid-2000s, the company started to make motherboards, graphics cards, and other PC components. Unable to compete with mainstay brands like Asus, Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) eventually gave up on the costly decision. Hopefully, this acquisition of already-established brands will prevent that outcome from happening again.

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