South Korea’s two smartphone and home appliance majors Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. vowed to invest 10.5 trillion won ($9.21 billion) over the next three years in domestic manufacturing capabilities in smart hardware devices.
The two electronics giants on Wednesday revealed their domestic investment plan at the conference hosted by Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Paik Un-gyu in Seoul.
By sector, they will invest a combined 6 trillion won in the development of Internet of Things (IoT)-incorporated appliances, open-source IoT platforms and big data-based smart home services, 2.5 trillion won in the next-generation mobile phone business focusing on advanced AI and virtual/augmented reality technologies. The remaining 2 trillion won will be allocated in a new business including the development of electronic components for smart vehicles.
As part of their investment plan, Samsung and LG also announced a plan to recruit more researchers. In particular, LG Electronics pledged to expand its research complex Science Park in Magok, Seoul and build a new electronics R&D center in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province.
The two companies also said they will ramp up production of premium appliances at their plants in Gwangju (Samsung Electronics) and Changwon (LG Electronics) from current 70 percent of total appliance output to 80 percent by 2020 in a move to transform the factories into high-end home appliance development centers that could drive innovation.
They also pledged to enhance their cooperation with partner companies. Samsung Electronics will fund 1,000 partners to speed up the construction of their smart factories this year and help them expand sales channels. LG Electronics has been offering patent sharing and technology development support programs to enhance the technological competitiveness of its partner companies, as well as training programs for their employees in the areas of quality management, R&D and general management.
By Ko Jae-man
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]