The Korea Herald


[EXCLUSIVE] Samsung Electronics CEO in Vietnam ahead of Galaxy Unpacked 2022

By Kim Byung-wook

Published : Feb. 8, 2022 - 19:23

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Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman and CEO Han Jong-hee (Samsung Electronics) Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman and CEO Han Jong-hee (Samsung Electronics)

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman and CEO Han Jong-hee is in Vietnam to make final preparations for the South Korean tech giant’s annual Galaxy Unpacked event scheduled this Thursday.

According to an industry source Tuesday, the executive arrived in Hanoi on Monday to check the production of Galaxy 22 smartphones. This is Han’s first visit to Vietnam since Samsung Electronics merged its smartphone and consumer electronics divisions into the mobile experience (MX) division in December. The last time the company‘s device business chief officially visited the Southeast Asian nation was in October 2020. At that time he accompanied Lee Jae-yong, Samsung’s de-facto leader, for a business trip.

Regarding Han’s Vietnam visit, Samsung Electronics said that the executive’s schedule is confidential.

Vietnam is Samsung Electronics’ largest smartphone production base. The country manufactured 61 percent of the firm’s smartphones in 2020. Factories are located in Bac Ninh Province and Thai Nguyen Province, located right next to Hanoi.

Samsung Electronics’ smartphone production faced complications last year after Vietnam initiated a lockdown on industrial complexes near Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh from May to September, limiting the travel of workers. Some Samsung Electronics vendors had their workers sleep at factories to maintain production.

In response, Samsung Electronics on Dec. 5 created an emergency fund and gave out zero-interest loans worth 220 billion won ($183.6 million) to local suppliers to help them cope with restrictions. Han is expected to conduct a last-minute check on whether smartphone production is back on track ahead of the release of the Galaxy 22 series.

Just one week after the emergency loan, Vietnam‘s National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue paid a visit to Han in Seoul on Dec. 13. The two discussed Samsung Electronics’ business and investment in Vietnam, and measures against the prolonged COVID-19.

Samsung is currently Vietnam‘s largest foreign direct investment (FDI) contributor, and accounts for more than 25 percent of its exports. Thanks to Samsung, Vietnam has become the second-largest exporter of smartphones in the world.