While only the world's second-largest semiconductor company behind Intel, Samsung remains the biggest investor in the industry. From 2017 to 2018, he has invested a whopping $ 68.5 billion in chips, according to the firm IC Insights. That's 53% more than Intel's capital expenditures over the same period.
Samsung's investments rise again
But the most interesting is the comparison with China. According to IC Insights, the entire Chinese semiconductor industry will have invested "only" $ 30.8 billion from 2017 to 2019, more than half as much as Samsung. A surprising result while China seemed to mobilize large means to catch up in the electronic integrated circuits.
The Korean electronics giant, however, is hit hard by the decline in memory chips prices, which account for 85% of its activity in semiconductors. An evolution that forced him to freeze his plans to increase his production capacity in the first three quarters of 2019. But his investments are rising again with a record budget of $ 7.9 billion in the fourth quarter, against $ 6.8 billion a year ago, with "most of the money spent on building memory infrastructure to meet medium and long-term demand", quotes IC Insights.
Chinese threat in the memories
This offensive strategy aims to stay ahead of the market and counter the Chinese threat. At least three new Chinese players are trying to emerge in memory chips: Tsinghua Unigroup, Jinhua and ChanXing Memory Technologies. Tsinghua Unigroup is already at the stage of producing 3D flash memories with its subsidiary YMTC and is working on expanding to Dram memories. It does not hide its ambitions to break Samsung's dominance in the market.
The stakes for Samsung, the world leader with 45.7% of the market of memories Dram and 34.9% of that of NAND flash memories in the second quarter of 2019 according to TrendForce, are part of its long-term survival. The memory chips are his cow-to-milk with 75% of the total profits for 35% of his income in 2018. To lose his leadership in this area is to condemn himself to death.
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