Samsung Electronics said Wednesday it plans to invest 300 trillion Korean won ($228 billion) in a new semiconductor complex in South Korea, which the government says will be the world's largest, as part of an aggressive push by the country to take a lead in critical technologies.
The South Korean government is looking to join together its biggest technology companies to spur development in key areas. The government said Wednesday that 550 trillion won will be invested by the private sector by 2026 in areas including chips, displays, batteries and electric vehicles.
But the big focus is on semiconductors — critical components that go into everything from smartphones to cars — and that have increasingly become a geopolitical focal point. South Korea's expansive move is seen as a way to catch up with the U.S.'s own aggressive chip investments.
"President Yoon Suk-yeol said, while it's important for a high-tech industry such as semiconductors to grow through a mid-to-longer term plan, we must swiftly push ahead with these plans as if it's a matter of life and death, given the current situation of global competition," Yoon's spokesperson Lee Do-woon said in a briefing.