Samsung Group will invest 25 trillion won ($22 billion) in artificial intelligence, 5G mobile technology, electronic components for autos, and the biopharmaceutical business in pursuit of new growth areas, Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) said on Wednesday.
The South Korean tech giant said it made a decision to expand investment to revitalize the national economy and foster new growth engines. The company did not indicate how many of its 320,671 employees (as of December 2017) are now involved in AI.
Samsung said 130 trillion won, or 72 percent of the amount, will be allocated to South Korea.
The three-year investment plan, announced shortly after Samsung Electronics Co.
The company said it will "invest aggressively" towards its goal of being a global player in advanced markets for 5G chipsets and related devices and equipment.
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Samsung's second quarter profit dipped slightly to 11.04 trillion won, down from 11.05 trillion won a year earlier.
Samsung said the announcement followed months of deliberations and review by the management and the board of directors of different Samsung companies, including Samsung Electronics. The company's move came as the sector calls for top-notch chip and display technologies, in which Samsung enjoys an edge over rivals. "But Samsung can be more active in M&As to do better at AI or 5G, when Lee is fully back to his business", Greg Roh, an analyst at Hyundai Motor Securities, said.
Samsung will provide software education programs to 10,000 jobseekers and lend support to around 500 startups. Samsung said KRW130 trillion (€100.13 billion) of this bonanza will be spent in its native Korea.
Samsung highlighted that the investment focuses on helping subcontractors and other smaller companies that actually hire the bulk of the country's workforce.
For biopharmaceuticals, Samsung has seen strong growth from both its contract manufacturing and biosimilar businesses.