Lee Jae-yong’s US excursion indicators his return to Samsung administration

Lee witnessed spearheading “New Samsung” amid world wide chip war will also go over vaccines, AI though overseas

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong arrives at Seoul Gimpo Company Aviation Middle at around 7:45 a.m. on Sunday. (Kim Byung-wook/The Korea Herald)

After remaining beneath the radar for more than three months because his parole in August, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong on Sunday discovered himself at an airport in Seoul leaving for an overseas business enterprise excursion for chips and vaccine, signaling his return to the forefront of management.

The Samsung Electronics govt arrived at Seoul Gimpo Small business Aviation Heart at close to 7:45 a.m. on Sunday and hopped on a Korean Air constitution flight to Canada immediately after briefly conversing to the press.

Although details remain unclear, Lee is initially expected to go to Samsung’s synthetic intelligence lab in Toronto and head to the US afterward to finalize the internet site collection for the firm’s new $17 billion chip foundry plant.

Asked regardless of whether he would finalize the foundry expense prepare in the US, Lee explained, “I will meet up with numerous (semiconductor) companions.”

In response to a question on no matter whether he will fulfill with a Moderna formal, Lee answered, “I will also stop by Boston.” The US vaccine maker’s headquarters is based mostly in Boston.

This is Lee’s very first overseas small business trip after getting released from prison in August and his very first small business journey to the US since 2016.

The Samsung chief’s direct check out to the US alerts the 53-calendar year-old leader’s return to management of Samsung, which endured a leadership void throughout his absence amid an intensifying world chip war triggered by Washington mostly due to the world-wide lack of chips for automobiles amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because of to the chip shortages in the US and other nations around the world, chipmakers had been pressured to boost their foundry ability.

Earlier this year Samsung’s biggest rival TSMC pledged to commit $100 billion around the next 3 decades to improve foundry capability. While Samsung Electronics’ money reserves achieved a history 209 trillion won ($177.1 billion) in July, the company did not continue with aggressive chip enlargement though Lee was serving time for bribing ousted former President Park Geun-hye from January via July.

During his US stop by, Lee is anticipated to meet up with with area authorities officers and iron out ultimate details for the $17 billion foundry plant. Though the town of Taylor in Texas is viewed as the strongest contender, Samsung has still left other solutions open, this kind of as Phoenix in Arizona and upstate New York.

Some see that Lee could possibly well check out Austin in Texas — in which Samsung’s 1st US foundry plant is situated — and even satisfy with Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon. Significant consumers of Samsung are positioned in the vicinity of the Austin plant which include Qualcomm and Nvidia.

Also, it stays to be noticed whether Lee will fulfill with the Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel, who agreed to supply the 1st batch of COVID-19 vaccines made in Korea for community use at Lee’s request.

Lee has applied his personalized connections to get to out to Bancel, as Korea struggled with vaccine shortages. The two agreed to prioritize 2.4 million doses of the Moderna vaccine created at Samsung Biologics’ manufacturing facility in Songdo, Incheon, to the Korean governing administration starting this thirty day period.

All eyes are on how the vice chairman would navigate the world’s major memory chip and cellular telephone maker and manifest “New Samsung,” a slogan Lee proclaimed on Oct. 25. The date coincided with the initial anniversary of the demise of his father, Lee Kun-hee.

Less than the New Samsung vision, Samsung announced previous week that it would overhaul its task ranking system to update its evaluation and marketing guidelines.

By Kim Byung-wook ([email protected])

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