Samsung to invest more than $200bn in next-gen tech by 2023

24 Aug 2021

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The South Korean electronics company plans to invest in AI, semiconductors, biopharmaceuticals and robotics for post-pandemic growth.

Samsung Group will invest 240trn won ($206bn) over the next three years in an expansion that could see up to 40,000 jobs created.

Bloomberg reported that Samsung Electronics plans to expand its footprint in next-generation technologies such as AI, biopharmaceuticals and robotics. According to Reuters, the plan is 30pc larger than the company’s previous strategy in 2018, which aimed to invest in similar technologies.

The major investment will focus on post-pandemic growth through to 2023. As well as new areas such as robotics, the company will also invest in its semiconductor business, though the full breakdown of the investment was not disclosed.

“The chip industry is the safety plate of the Korean economy,” the company said in a statement. “Our aggressive investment is a survival strategy in a sense that once we lose our competitiveness, it is almost impossible to make a comeback.”

As one of the world’s largest chipmakers, Samsung is a key player in semiconductor production, which has hit a serious global shortage since the pandemic started. Factory shutdowns combined with a rising demand for tech during the work-from-home boom led to a chip crunch.

This has put pressure on industry players such as Samsung and its rivals, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and United Microelectronics.

Industry leaders such as Intel’s Pat Gelsinger and Apple’s Tim Cook have said the shortage shows no signs of abating, with Gelsinger recently predicting that the shortage could last until 2023.

Samsung Electronics did not say whether the $206bn investment includes the $17bn chip factory it’s reportedly hoping to build in the US.

In May, South Korea unveiled its plans to spend around $450bn to build the world’s biggest chipmaking base over the next decade, in an investment led by Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix.

It followed several other boosts from industry players aimed at tackling the chip shortage, including a $20bn investment in two new Intel fabrication facilities in Arizona and a $100bn investment by TSMC to boost its manufacturing capacity.

Jenny Darmody is the deputy editor of Silicon Republic

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