Samsung plans $22 billion for artificial intelligence, autos


In addition to components for devices, Samsung also sees 5G as a chance to transform its network equipment division into a major player that can compete with Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia.

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.

The total planned investment of 6% exceeds the volume of investments in the last three years.

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There are plans to increase the number of advanced AI researchers at its AI centres to 1,000 while there will also be an expansion of its semiconductor manufacturing capabilities to cope with demand for AI, 5G, data centre and connected vehicle components.

Samsung is making a big push on automotive parts business since the unit was set up in December 2015. It said both technologies are crucial for the development of autonomous vehicles.

"Today's announcement follows many months of deliberations and review by the management and board of directors of different Samsung companies that will make the investments, including Samsung Electronics", said the company in a statement. Of that total, 130 trillion won will stay in South Korea, the company said.

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The company said the investment made locally will have the effect of creating some 700,000 jobs, especially from the chip and display industries.

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.

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 past year.

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Chung said reformist President Moon Jae-in's campaign to clip the wings of the country's powerful family-run conglomerates, known as chaebols, appeared to be losing steam in the face of stonewalling business groups which are "wielding prospects for investment as their weapons".