Han Jong-hee, vice chairman and chief executive officer at Samsung Electronics, at a shareholders meeting in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province on Mar. 15. [Photo provided by Samsung Electronics]
Samsung Electronics Co. on Wednesday bought an additional 4.7 percent stake in Rainbow Robotics Co., increasing its ownership in the South Korean robot developer to 14.99 percent from 10.3 percent.
The move by Samsung Electronics is part of a strategy to beef up its robotics business, which it has picked as a new growth engine. Samsung Electronics plans to introduce a human assistant robot EX1 this year. Rainbow Robotics, a Kosdaq-listed company, specializes in collaborative robots.
Shares of Samsung Electronics were trading 0.17 percent higher at 59,900 won ($45) on Thursday morning.
Samsung Electronics set up a robotics business division last year. The division specializes in “carrying out businesses and securing technologies for commercial robots,” said Han Jong-hee, vice chairman and chief executive officer at Samsung Electronics, on Wednesday during a shareholders meeting in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province.
“We plan to promote diverse robotics projects including those involving wearable robots for walking exercise this year.”
The meeting was attended by about 600 shareholders, a sharp drop from last year’s 1,600. The tech company has about 5.81 million shareholders at the end of last year, up 15 percent from the previous year.
“The secret to overcoming a crisis in a challenging environment has always been the ordinary truth of focusing on the essence,” Han said. “We will continue to create new values and possibilities so that our customers can enjoy a more affluent daily life through technology.”
When asked about the impact of ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based chatbot system that has sparked a global craze recently, Han noted that such a large-scale AI model is expected to have very positive impact on future semiconductor demand. He expected synergies between ChatGPT and Samsung products and services.
With regards to shareholder concerns about the worsening business environment for the device solutions (DS) division that is responsible for chip production, Lee Jung-bae, president and general manager of memory business in the DS division, said that the company “expects the chip market to continue to grow in the mid- to long-term, with new applications of chips.”
He added that demand for new applications such as fifth-generation and AI is expected to grow. There will be also continued demand for data centers amid the growth in metaverse, AI, and autonomous driving sectors.
By Lee Sae-ha, Choi Seung-jin, and Yoon Yeon-hae
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