Korea’s ICT investment heavily reliant on Samsung: report

By Song Su-hyun

Published : Nov 30, 2017 - 16:47
Updated : Nov 30, 2017 - 16:47

Investments in information and communication technologies in South Korea slightly grew in 2016 from a year earlier, but more than half of the investments were made by the country’s No. 1 conglomerate Samsung, a report found on Thursday.

According to the report by the Institute for Information & Communications Technology Promotion, investments by Korean companies in ICT rose from $21.73 billion to $22.17 billion last year.

Korea ranked fourth among top 10 countries in terms of the amount of ICT investments, the report showed. The US topped the list with $148.7 billion, followed by Japan at $37.5 billion and China at $34.2 billion.

Some 57.3 percent, or $12.7 billion, was invested by Samsung Electronics alone.

Without Samsung’s investments, the country’s ICT investments by major businesses stood at $9.47 billion, which would fall after Taiwan at fifth, the data showed.

The report expressed concerns about Korea’ excessive reliance on Samsung in terms of investments in new technologies, pointing out that Samsung’s drive to make such investments has been losing steam recently, compared to US-based Google and Intel.

Samsung was the largest IT company in R&D investment from 2012 to 2014, but the top spot has been taken over by Alphabet, the operator of Google.

In 2016, Samsung was surpassed by Intel, declining to third place in terms of R&D investments.

“In terms of the number of companies that invest in ICT, Korea came in fifth with 34 firms, highlighting the dependence on Samsung,” the report said.

While the US had 326 out of 1,000 companies that invest in ICT, China followed with 190, Japan with 108 and Taiwan with 103.

By Song Su-hyun(song@heraldcorp.com)

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The Korea Herald by Herald Corporation