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Samsung Electronics says it will contribute 230 billion dollars to South Korea’s push to become the world’s largest chip-making base. The electronics giant plans to build five new fabs and attract another 150 companies and R&D organizations (such as material suppliers, equipment makers and design houses) to form a semiconductor hub near Seoul to rival TSMC as the world’s biggest chip manufacturing ecosystem. Several other Samsung divisions together want to funnel an additional 46 billion dollars in chip packaging, displays and battery technology.
The pledge is part of a larger, national technology push that also includes biotechnology, electric vehicles and robots. Adding tax breaks and subsidies provided by the South Korean government, the total investment comes to more than 420 billion dollars. “The economic war that began recently in semiconductors is broadening to advanced industries such as batteries and cars of the future,” said president Yoon Suk Yeol in a televised press conference, referring to semiconductor and green tech funding schemes recently launched by the US and China.