SK’s Chey tours operations overseas

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SK’s Chey tours operations overseas

SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won embarked on his first overseas trip just 12 days after being released from prison on a special presidential pardon Aug. 14.

Chey wants to work on overseas businesses that he couldn’t visit for the past three years.

Affiliate CEOs accompanying him included SK E&S CEO Yu Jeong-joon, SK Hynix CEO Park Sung-wook and SK Global Chemical CEO Cha Hwa-youp.

Chey left Tuesday afternoon from Gimpo International Airport for a weeklong trip to visit SK’s semiconductor and petrochemical production lines in China and Taiwan.

“I haven’t got a chance to take a close look at the petrochemical factories, in particular, so this trip is a good opportunity for me,” Chey told reporters at the airport. “In Taiwan, I hope to catch up with how ICT and semiconductor technologies have evolved in the past three years by having meetings with my close business networks there.”

Chey’s first stop is SK Hynix factories in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, western China, where he will spend two days and three nights. Nearly half of SK Hynix’s DRAMs are produced there, and the nearby Yangtze River Delta area is highly industrialized.

On Friday, Chey plans to visit Wuhan, Hubei Province, where SK has jointly opened an ethylene factory worth 3.3 trillion won ($2.78 billion) with state-run petrochemical company Sinopec Group. SK owns 35 percent of the plant.

Since production began early last year, the Wuhan plant has produced 2.5 million tons of different petrochemical products yearly. SK earned an operating profit of more than 23 billion won last year from that facility. The company has seen an operating profit of 168 billion won in the first half of this year, nearly seven times the profit of last year.

Chey has arranged meetings with regional government officials in Jiangsu and Hubei provinces, according to local media reports.

Chey will then travel to Taiwan to discuss business possibilities with his contacts there.

SK Holdings founded an IT service company called FSK Holdings in May with Hon Hai Group, the mother company of the country’s leading technology company, Foxconn Technology Group. The joint venture is reportedly working on developing smart factory solutions for Foxconn’s production lines in Chongqing.

The two companies recently acquired Hong Kong-based technology company Daiwa Associate Holdings, which specializes in developing parts and sensors for Internet of Things technologies, which can be used in developing smart factory platforms.

“Chairman Chey has recently shown a strong willingness regarding overseas businesses,” said Lee Man-woo, head of the public relations division at SK Group.

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