Samsung Investing $20 Billion In Futuristic Technologies

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Through such investments, Samsung plans to foster AI, 5G, biotechnology and electronic components as key future growth engines.

The investment is part of a wider $160bn push by Samsung to create new jobs, expertise and revenue under the restored leadership of Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong after he was freed from prison. Samsung, hit hard by the financial crisis in the late 1990s, sold off its then five-year-old vehicle business to France's Renault Group back in 2000.

The company said a substantial slice of the overall investment pie will be earmarked for South Korea itself, and that overall the investment will create some 40,000 new jobs. Samsung has been beefing up its contract drug making operations to help counter a potential decline in its mainstay electronics businesses.

Considering Samsung has been cautious about commenting on its reentry into the auto business, the report said, creating the new team could hint at a strategic shift at the Korean tech giant.

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In the field of artificial intelligence, Samsung hopes to take its researcher base beyond the 1,000 mark across it global AI Centres. It said both technologies are crucial for the development of autonomous vehicles.

Samsung made the announcement days after its de-facto chief, Lee Jay Y, met with finance minister Kim Dong-yeon, at a chip factory south of Seoul.

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. Most of that investment - about 130 trillion won of the total - will be spent in South Korea, the company said without giving further breakdowns.

The announcement has had little impact on Samsung's share price but should be welcomed by investors anxious about the lack of strategic direction since the conviction of group heir Jay Lee on bribery charges previous year. Nearly three-quarters of that investment will be made at home, it said in a statement.

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