Lee Jay-yong, the heir-apparent of Samsung Group, on Tuesday met privately with Paypal founder Peter Thiel, sources said, a meeting that industry watchers tied to the South Korean tech firm's aggressive moves into the mobile payment business.
Samsung did not provide details of the meeting, said to have taken place at the hotel where Thiel is staying in downtown Seoul. Sources were also sketchy on the details, only saying the two entrepreneurs discussed ideas on information-communications technologies.
The two also exchanged talks on financial technologies, commonly known as fintech, and investment in venture firms, the sources said.
Samsung Electronics, whose crown jewel mobile and IT units are being elbowed out by fast-rising Chinese rivals and U.S. rival Apple Inc., has gone after mergers and acquisitions in what appears to be efforts to reshape its mainstay business by finding new profit sources, including the mobile payment system. The tech firm said last week it has bought U.S. mobile technology firm LoopPay Inc., which has patent rights related to magnetic secure transmission, a payments solution that works with existing magnetic stripe readers. Apple is already in the market with Apple Pay.
Thiel is expected to also meet officials from Naver Corp., the operator of South Korea's most-visited portal, as well as businessmen from other South Korean tech firms. (Yonhap)