Samsung Electronics plans to spend $22 billion over the next three years on artificial intelligence, auto components and other future businesses as the company maps out its strategy under the restored leadership of Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong after he was freed from prison.
Samsung said it will spend the sum, amounting to 25 trillion won, on hiring artificial intelligence researchers in about 1,000 artificial intelligence centers around the world, on ensuring it will be a global player in next-generation telecoms technology called 5G and on deepening its involvement in electronic components for future cars.
“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.
Some of the funding will go to Samsung’s biopharmaceutical businesses. Samsung has been beefing up its contract drug-making operations to help counter a potential decline in its mainstay electronics businesses.
South Korea relies heavily on Samsung and its affiliated companies for investment and jobs, even after a corruption scandal that resulted in Lee’s conviction for bribery. Lee was freed after nearly a year in jail but former President Park Geun-hye and a close associate remain imprisoned for bribery and other charges.
Lee kept a low profile after his release in February but has been emerging in his public role in recent weeks.