(Yicai Global) May 3 -- Jay Y. Lee (Lee Jae-yong), vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co., visited Shenzhen yesterday, the second overseas business trip by the heir of the South Korean electronics giant since his release in February, after a trip to Canada and Europe about a month ago, the Beijing News reported yesterday.
Members of his entourage -- including Kim Ki-nam, head of Samsung’s semiconductor unit, Jin Gyo-young, head of memory products, and Samsung Display Co.’s chief executive Lee Dong-hoon -- are mostly experts in upstream businesses of the electronics industry.
The only item on Lee’s itinerary that has been confirmed so far is a meeting with Chinese electric car maker BYD Co. on May 2, Samsung told the Beijing News, without elaborating on the meeting.
The South Korean company has reportedly sourced almost all metal casings for its electronic products from BYD. Its wholly-owned unit Shanghai Samsung Semiconductor Co. bought a 1.92 percent stake in the Chinese firm for CNY3 billion in July 2016 and thus became its ninth-largest shareholder.
The press covered the share acquisition deal stating that Samsung has supplied automotive semiconductors and liquid crystal displays for the Shenzhen-based automaker, while the latter has produced smartphone components for Samsung. At present, smartphone sales have hit a bottleneck, but automotive electronics and traction batteries are widely seen as the general future trend.
All the officials accompanying Lee Jae-yong, Kim Ki-nam and Jin Gyo-young are leading figures in the South Korean semiconductor sector.
Lee had been sentenced to five years after a conviction for perjury, bribery and embezzlement in an influence-peddling scandal by that ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye from office last year, and which inflamed the public against the ‘chaebol’ plutocracy. Lee is the latest in a series of chaebol scions to walk free after a corruption conviction, leading many to conclude these well-connected corporate families are indeed above the law, Bloomberg News reported Feb. 5.
Editor : Ben Armour