Samsung vice chairman visits R&D hub amid rising uncertainties

In his first public appearance since the Supreme Court ruling last month, Samsung Electronics vice-chairman and heir apparent, Lee Jae-yong, visited Samsung Research, the company’s R&D hub, in Seoul today. According to media reports, the purpose of the visit was to discuss the company’s strategy on future technologies amid rising uncertainties.

Lee reportedly discussed developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), robots, displays, and more with senior executives who accompanied him during the visit. “Today’s Samsung was an impossible future in the past. We have to open up a new future with new technologies that don’t exist today,” he was quoted as saying. “We should keep doing what we have to do amid rising uncertainties. We have to prepare thoroughly and keep challenging.”

Samsung has been staring at an uncertain future with slowing smartphone demand and worsening chip sales. Both these businesses have added substantially to the company’s bottom line in recent years. With rising uncertainties on many fronts, the Korean company is pinning its hopes on new technologies like AI, 5G, IoT, AR, etc.  It has made significant investments in many next-generation technologies in recent years, emerging as one of the biggest R&D spenders globally.

On August 29, South Korea’s Supreme Court ordered a retrial of the Samsung bribery case that rocked the country in 2016. Lee was initially sentenced to five years in prison by a lower court in 2017, but the sentence was reduced and then suspended on Lee’s appeal by the Seoul High Court last year.

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