Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

A Former Foxconn Executive Tries to Explain What Went Wrong in Wisconsin

In this episode of the Verge’s “Decoder” podcast, Nilay Patel and Josh Dzieza interviewed Alan Yeung, who formerly led Foxconn’s efforts to build a factory in Wisconsin. Yeung wrote a book about how the plan came together, and is apparently writing another volume about how it actually panned out. This discussion is excruciating. Here is a taste:

NP: We are running out of time, and I need to ask you a few questions that I have been dying to know the answer to. Josh actually pivoted to these. Your book and Foxconn talked a lot about AI 8K+5G, but it was never defined as far as I could tell. We searched and searched. What on earth is AI 8K+5G?

That will actually be in the next book.

NP: It’s in this book.

You can read the transcript, but you have to listen to this episode to really feel how uncomfortable and frustrating Yeung’s answers are. Dzieza’s reporting about this partly abandoned project has been second-to-none, yet even Yeung — who professes having no current relationship with Foxconn and who claims not to be defending the company — cannot produce a satisfying answer to very simple questions.