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

Right after keeping beneath the radar for a lot more than three months given that his parole in August, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong on Sunday discovered himself at an airport in Seoul leaving for an abroad business enterprise vacation for chips and vaccine, signaling his return to the forefront of management.

The Samsung Electronics executive arrived at Seoul Gimpo Business enterprise Aviation Center at all-around 7:45 a.m. on Sunday and hopped on a Korean Air charter flight to Canada right after briefly chatting to the press.

However specifics continue to be unclear, Lee is to start with expected to pay a visit to Samsung’s synthetic intelligence lab in Toronto and head to the US afterward to finalize the internet site assortment for the firm’s new $17 billion chip foundry plant.

Requested whether or not he would finalize the foundry financial commitment program in the US, Lee said, “I will fulfill a lot of (semiconductor) partners.”

In reaction to a question on no matter whether he will meet up with with a Moderna official, Lee answered, “I will also pay a visit to Boston.” The US vaccine maker’s headquarters is primarily based in Boston.

This is Lee’s very first overseas business enterprise trip soon after staying released from jail in August and his initial organization travel to the US due to the fact 2016.

The Samsung chief’s immediate pay a visit to to the US indicators the 53-year-old leader’s return to management of Samsung, which experienced a management void throughout his absence amid an intensifying world-wide chip war activated by Washington mainly thanks to the world-wide scarcity of chips for cars amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thanks to the chip shortages in the US and other countries, chipmakers have been pressured to boost their foundry ability.

Earlier this calendar year Samsung’s biggest rival TSMC pledged to expend $100 billion above the upcoming three several years to boost foundry capability. Nevertheless Samsung Electronics’ hard cash reserves reached a history 209 trillion received ($177.1 billion) in July, the organization did not carry on with intense chip growth although Lee was serving time for bribing ousted former President Park Geun-hye from January via July.

For the duration of his US take a look at, Lee is anticipated to fulfill with area government officers and iron out remaining aspects for the $17 billion foundry plant. When the metropolis of Taylor in Texas is seen as the strongest contender, Samsung has remaining other possibilities open up, these types of as Phoenix in Arizona and upstate New York.

Some perspective that Lee may well very well stop by Austin in Texas — the place Samsung’s to start with US foundry plant is situated — and even satisfy with Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon. Major shoppers of Samsung are positioned in the vicinity of the Austin plant including Qualcomm and Nvidia.

Also, it remains to be found whether Lee will meet with the Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel, who agreed to offer the 1st batch of COVID-19 vaccines manufactured in Korea for neighborhood use at Lee’s ask for.

Lee has applied his particular connections to reach out to Bancel, as Korea struggled with vaccine shortages. The two agreed to prioritize 2.4 million doses of the Moderna vaccine manufactured at Samsung Biologics’ factory in Songdo, Incheon, to the Korean federal government setting up this thirty day period.

All eyes are on how the vice chairman would navigate the world’s most significant memory chip and mobile telephone maker and manifest “New Samsung,” a slogan Lee proclaimed on Oct. 25. The day coincided with the first anniversary of the dying of his father, Lee Kun-hee.

Below the New Samsung eyesight, Samsung introduced previous 7 days that it would overhaul its occupation rating program to up grade its evaluation and advertising procedures.

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