Samsung bets $22 billion on AI, 5G and auto tech

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The company also will expand C-Lab, its internal venture incubation program, and work with the Korean government to establish and run software education centers across the country.

Reflecting rising calls for family-controlled conglomerates to make more social contributions in South Korea, Samsung also said its new investment plan will go a long way toward creating more jobs.

The company has been fighting off competition from Chinese rivals including Huawei, which last week said it could replace Samsung as the world's top smartphone maker by late next year, after data showed it surpassed Apple for the number-two spot in a tightening global smartphone market.

South Korea relies heavily on Samsung and its affiliated companies for investment and jobs, even after a corruption scandal that resulted in Lee's conviction for bribery.

"Samsung has seen strong growth from both its contract manufacturing and biosimilar businesses".

Samsung has announced a new three-year investment plan, set to be worth $160bn (approximately £124bn).

Samsung said 130 trillion won, or 72 percent of the amount, will be allocated to South Korea.

In the field of AI, which is becoming a priority for almost every technology company on the planet, Samsung said its aim was to increase its number of AI researchers to about 1,000 globally.

A sign outside the Samsung Electronics office in San Jose, California. It reflected Samsung's commitment to support youth employment, Samsung said in a statement. This will lead to the creation of an additional 15,000 jobs, Samsung said.

Calling this goal an "open innovation", the company said it will raise a 100-billion won fund to roll out various programs centering on expanding cooperation with professors and institutions.

Samsung will moreover forge ties with the Ministry of SMEs and Startups to raise 110 billion won over the next five years to help 2,500 companies adopt smart-factory solutions in their production lines.

The company plans to foot 60 billion won of the total to be spent. That news sent shares in contract drugmaker Samsung BioLogics up some 5%.