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Lee Jae-yong visits US in 5 years for semiconductors, vaccine issues

Lee Jae-yong visits US in 5 years for semiconductors, vaccine issues

Posted November. 15, 2021 08:16,   

Updated November. 15, 2021 08:16


Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong departed for a business trip the U.S. on Sunday for the first time in five years.

Lee will likely conduct final review on his company’s plan to invest in a semiconductor foundry plant in the US, and discuss about expansion of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine production in Korea. He will also seek to strengthen his business network with leaders of major partner companies in the U.S.

After a South Korea-U.S. summit in May, Samsung Electronics made official its plan to invest 17 billion U.S. dollars to construct a second foundry factory in the U.S. Samsung is considering Taylor and Austin in Texas as strong candidate sites. Insiders in the Korean business community say Lee will visit the sites in person to check before making decision.

Business insiders also predict Lee will be meeting with top executives of Moderna and IT companies, and leaders of politics and government in a bid to restore his global business network. Lee was introduced to Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel by one of his acquittances and held a video conference with Moderna’s top executives in August, as he has been striving to advance the schedule for local production of Moderna’s vaccine.

Hyun-Seok Lim lhs@donga.com · Dong-Il Seo dong@donga.com