Zuckerberg posts photo of his visit to Samsung

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Zuckerberg posts photo of his visit to Samsung

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared a photo and commented on his recent trip to a Samsung Electronics plant in Hwaseong.

The visit by Zuckerberg has fueled speculation in the IT community about stronger cooperation between the world’s largest social network company and the leading smartphone maker.

The visit comes at a time when it is widely believed that Samsung is trying to reinvent itself and expand beyond its smartphone business to the Internet of Things (IoT) and other software-oriented businesses.

Zuckerberg posted a picture of himself and six others from his company including David Marcus, the former PayPal president who quit to join Facebook as vice president of messaging products, and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, visiting the Korean tech company’s computer chip plant dressed in full gear.

“I had the opportunity to bring Facebook’s management team to visit Samsung in Korea to learn about their culture and how they build the devices that hundreds of million of people use to connect,” Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook.

“A highlight was seeing the Hwaseong campus, where Samsung produces 40 percent of the world’s memory chips. The precision of their process is inspiring. We had to wear clean suits so small dust particles didn’t interfere with their machines.”

He then noted that he was looking forward to working with Samsung in connecting the world.

Advancing beyond smartphones has become one of the major challenges facing the Korean tech company. In particular, the failure of the Galaxy S5 cost Samsung dearly in the third quarter, as year-on-year operating profit fell 60 percent to 4 trillion won ($3.76 billion).

In recent months, Samsung has shifted its focuses to software development by holding various forums for programmers and software engineers, including an open-source forum for its Tizen operating system.

Further cooperation with Facebook is expected to help solidify Samsung’s entrance into a field that is dominated by rival Apple and close partner Google.

Zuckerberg also had dinner with Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman and heir-apparent Jay Y. Lee on Tuesday at the company’s headquarters in Seocho, Gangnam District, southern Seoul. The meeting fueled speculation that the two companies will further cooperate on the development of virtual reality devices and services like the Gear VR, a headset Samsung has worked on with Oculus, which was acquired by Facebook in March.

There have also been rumors the two might collaborate on a Facebook-centric phone.

Although several Facebook phones were developed by the Taiwanese smartphone company HTC, they failed to gain a wide following.

This was the third time Zuckerberg and Lee met this year. The two also met a year ago at the Samsung headquarters when Zuckerberg visited Seoul.

BY LEE HO-JEONG [ojlee82@joongang.co.kr]

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