South Korea’s Samsung Group on Wednesday said it would invest $22 billion over the next three years in cutting-edge technology including artificial intelligence, self-driving cars and biopharmaceuticals, as it searches for ways to drive future growth.
The investment will be primarily led by Samsung Electronics, the world’s biggest maker of memory chips, which has faced a string of setbacks in recent years, including a fall in smartphone sales and a corruption scandal that saw its vice-chairman Lee Jae-yong jailed last year.
Although demand for its memory chips remains robust, the market for its smartphones appears to have hit a wall, prompting the company to search for fresh growth opportunities.
“Samsung expects innovations powered by AI technology will drive the industry’s transformation, while the next-generation 5G telecommunications technology will create new opportunities in autonomous driving, the Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics,” the company said in a statement.
The $22 billion is part of a total of 180 trillion won ($161 billion) that the group plans to invest over the next three years across its businesses, with more than 70 per cent of the money to be spent in South Korea.
The company said it expected to add 40,000 new jobs over the next three years, in the hope that will likely bring relief to South Korea’s government which is currently struggling with high youth unemployment.