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Samsung bets $22 billion on AI, 5G and auto tech

10 August 2018

Lee has sought to expand Samsung's business into automotive electronics components.

Its de facto leader Lee Jae-yong was convicted of corruption previous year, but released from prison in February.

It forms part of a broader strategy under which the Samsung group will invest KRW180 trillion ($160.7 billion) in total over the next three years in capital expenditure and research and development.

The three-year investment plan, announced shortly after Samsung Electronics Co.

There are plans to increase the number of advanced AI researchers at its AI centres to 1,000 while there will also be an expansion of its semiconductor manufacturing capabilities to cope with demand for AI, 5G, data centre and connected vehicle components. Those areas are seen as Samsung's new growth engines.

The new strategy will entail an overhaul of Samsung's internal venture incubation program, said the company.

Areas that will be targeted for investment include the company's manufacturing hubs, as well as existing memory and display businesses.

Samsung's announcement came a month after President Moon Jae-in met the company's de facto head Lee Jae-yong in India.

Along with the direct employment of Samsung, its investment in South Korea was forecast to help induce around 700,000 jobs in related industries and businesses, the statement noted.

Lee was freed after almost a year in jail but former President Park Geun-hye and a close associate remain imprisoned for bribery and other charges.

With 130 trillion won of the combined 180 trillion won meant to be invested at home, Samsung said around 700,000 jobs will be created overall here following its move.

The company has been fighting off competition from Chinese rivals including Huawei, which last week said it could replace Samsung as the world's top smartphone maker by late next year, after data showed it surpassed Apple for the number-two spot in a tightening global smartphone market.

Samsung bets $22 billion on AI, 5G and auto tech