Samsung to invest 160 bln United States dollars, hire 40,000 for next 3 years

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Samsung Group on August 8 unveiled a whopping 180 trillion won (US$160 billion) investment plans, including 50 trillion won overseas, over the next three years in response to the government's growing calls for the nation's largest conglomerate to play a bigger role in economic recovery and job creation.

The South Korean tech giant said the latest investment centers on building up its artificial intelligence, fifth-generation network, bio and automotive operations through the investment plan announced earlier in the day.

The company has been fighting off competition from Chinese rivals including Huawei, which last week said it could replace Samsung as the world's top smartphone maker by late next year, after data showed it surpassed Apple for the number-two spot in a tightening global smartphone market.

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The firm expects to create 40,000 new jobs over the next three years while the investment in Korea is expected to help induce approximately 700,000 jobs in related industries and businesses. The company did not indicate how many of its 320,671 employees (as of December 2017) are now involved in AI.

The wave of cash will also beef up Samsung's biopharmaceutical wing, the company said. In addition to investments for memory products, spending will go to non-memory and new advanced manufacturing equipment.

Samsung highlighted that the investment focuses on helping subcontractors and other smaller companies that actually hire the bulk of the country's workforce. Samsung's target is to provide support for 300 external candidates and 200 internal projects in the next five years.

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More support for suppliers is also planned, with a total KRW 4 trillion available for extending financing to more sub-contractors in the lower-level supply chain and increasing incentive payments.

The scion of the founding family, Lee was jailed a year ago for his part in the graft scandal that brought down former president Park Geun-hye.

Jay Lee, the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, is appealing that conviction after being released from jail in February with a suspended sentence. The weak performance was largely blamed on lackluster smartphone sales.

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