Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
IT | By Lester Massey

Samsung sinking $22 billion into artificial intelligence, auto tech

Samsung sinking $22 billion into artificial intelligence, auto tech

Samsung's share price has fallen about 8% in South Korea so far this year.

In flagging specific areas of investment, the plan is the first of its kind for the conglomerate and suggests more emphasis than usual on expanding into new segments as its core semiconductor and smartphone businesses show signs of weakness.

Jay Lee, the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, is appealing that conviction after being released from jail in February with a suspended sentence. But even by Samsung's standard, the size of the investment announced Wednesday was huge.

Samsung Electronics, the world's top maker of memory chips and smartphones and the group's flagship company, did not provide a breakdown of the figures but said it will provide the funds for most of the investment.

In the field of artificial intelligence, Samsung hopes to take its researcher base beyond the 1,000 mark across it global AI Centres.

Samsung is making a big push on automotive parts business since the unit was set up in December 2015. Still, the company said its chip business continued to do well. Shares in the group's information technology services affiliate Samsung SDS rose 5 percent.

Aside from this focused investment, Samsung will actually be investing a total of $161 billion over the next three years.

In total, Samsung expects to create 40,000 jobs over the next three years.

Nearly three quarters of the investment will be made directly into South Korean businesses, and will create an estimated 40,000 jobs in the country. In 2016, the firm acquired USA audio and infotainment giant Harman International for about US$10 billion.

For Samsung, the latest investment plan goes beyond fostering new growth engines and came to be seen as a concerted effort to move past its tainted reputation caused by Lee's connection to a political scandal that led to the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye.

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