Samsung heir extends attention to equipment business

  • Published : Jun 30, 2020 - 15:33
  • Updated : Jun 30, 2020 - 15:35
Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong (second from left) enters SEMES’ production line in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province, on Tuesday. (Samsung Electronics)

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong on Tuesday visited Samsung’s semiconductor equipment subsidiary SEMES, surveying the very foundation of the chip industry amid the country’s ongoing efforts to reduce dependence on Japan.

The Samsung heir discussed mid- and long-term strategies of SMES, founded in 1993 as a subsidiary building manufacturing equipment for semiconductor sand displays, and took a tour of the equipment production line located in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province. 

SMES currently operates two manufacturing facilities in Cheonan and Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, hiring around 2,000 employees in Korea. It also runs branches in Austin, US and Xian, China. 

Samsung heir checks on semiconductor equipment on Tuesday. (Samsung Electronics)

“It is hard to know how this uncertainty will end, and we have a long way to go,” Lee said. “But we cannot let it wear us out. If we stop, there will be no future.”

It is the first time that Lee has paid a visit to the equipment subsidiary since he was released from jail in February 2018.

The latest on-site visit was made after a civilian panel on Friday requested the prosecutors to stop indicting Lee over suspicions related to power transfer of the Samsung empire, including the 2015 merger between Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries and accounting fraud at Samsung Biologics.

In June, the heir displayed active participation in current businesses of Samsung as he visited the headquarters and met with the top brasses of the smartphone, semiconductor and consumer electronics divisions.

By Song Su-hyun (

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