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Samsung to Invest $205 Billion in Chip, Biotech Expansion - The Wall Street Journal

Samsung plans to increase investments by one third to more than $205 billion over the next three years, as the South Korean conglomerate pursues leadership in chip manufacturing and a bigger role in Covid-19 vaccine production.

The company said Tuesday it would invest 240 trillion won in capital expenditure and research and development over the three years, up from 180 trillion won in the previous three.

The release of Samsung’s de facto leader, Lee Jae-yong, from prison earlier this month—a parole the Justice Ministry attributed in part to “economic factors”—has raised expectations of bolder moves from the company. Mr. Lee’s supporters argue that Samsung failed to make big strategic decisions and delayed investments while competitors charged ahead amid a historic chip shortage that has elevated semiconductors to the top of national agendas.

One key decision awaiting Mr. Lee’s approval is the location of a planned Samsung Electronics Co. semiconductor plant in the U.S. The $17 billion chip factory will be a key part of the Korean company’s bid to compete in the foundry business—making chips under contract for the companies that design them. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. currently dominates the foundry business, and Samsung faces new competition from Intel Corp. , which recently announced plans to get back into the business of making chips for others.

Samsung has been considering sites in Texas, New York and Arizona since at least January.