Lee Jae-yong does CEO tour of America

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Lee Jae-yong does CEO tour of America

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, left, with Google CEO Sundar Pichai at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California on Monday. [SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS]

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, left, with Google CEO Sundar Pichai at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California on Monday. [SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS]

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong is meeting with top CEOs as he travels through the U.S., including the bosses of Google, Moderna, Verizon, Microsoft and Amazon.  
 
According to Samsung Electronics, Lee met with Google’s top management including CEO Sundar Pichai at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, on Monday.  
 
Lee discussed a wide range of topics from system semiconductors to virtual reality, augmented reality, autonomous driving as well as platform innovation, the company said.  
 
There has been growing speculation that Google may commission the manufacturing of its own application processors -- the smartphone's counterpart to a central processing unit or CPU -- to Samsung.  
 
In August, Google announced that it is designing its own chip, Tensor, that will be used in its smartphone, the Pixel 6.  
 
Tensor will power the phones' artificial intelligence and machine-learning functions.  
 
On Nov. 16, Lee met with Moderna co-founder and chairman Noubar Afeyan, and on Nov. 17 he met with the Hans Vestberg, CEO of the U.S. telecommunication giant Verizon.
 
On Nov. 20, he visited Microsoft and Amazon.  
 
Samsung's pharmaceutical arm, Samsung Biologics, has been doing the fill-and-finish stages of manufacturing for Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine since October.  
Samsung Electronics' Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, left, with Moderna's co-founder and chairman Noubar Afeyan on Nov. 16 at Cambridge, Massachusetts. [SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS]

Samsung Electronics' Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, left, with Moderna's co-founder and chairman Noubar Afeyan on Nov. 16 at Cambridge, Massachusetts. [SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS]

 
Samsung Electronics' Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, right, with Hans Vestberg, CEO of the U.S. telecommunication giant Verizon on Nov. 17 in New Jersey. [SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS]

Samsung Electronics' Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, right, with Hans Vestberg, CEO of the U.S. telecommunication giant Verizon on Nov. 17 in New Jersey. [SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS]

Samsung Electronics' Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong with Microsoft CEO Satyanarayana Nadella in Redmond, Washington on Nov. 20. [SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS]

Samsung Electronics' Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong with Microsoft CEO Satyanarayana Nadella in Redmond, Washington on Nov. 20. [SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS]

Lee also visited the White House and the U.S. congress to discuss cooperation on semiconductor supplies.  
 
Korean chipmakers – Samsung Electronics and SK hynix – earlier this month complied with demands by the Joe Biden administration to surrender information on their semiconductor businesses.  
 
The companies said they followed guidelines set by the U.S. Commerce Department, but did not disclose any proprietary information.  
 
On this trip to the U.S., Lee also visited his company’s operations in the U.S. including Samsung Device Solutions America as well as Samsung Research America.  
 
“As the future and the industrial map is newly drawn, the environment of our survival is changing in a big way,” Lee said in a meeting with Samsung employees in the U.S.  
 
“We won’t be able to get through such a massive transition simply by trailing behind [our competitors] or widening the distance with companies trailing us,” Lee said. “It may be difficult, but let’s build a new Samsung that makes the impossible possible by pioneering a future where no one has gone before.”  
 
Meanwhile, Samsung is expected to announce Wednesday a final decision on where to build a $17 billion chip plant in the U.S.  
 
It will be the Korean tech company’s second chip plant in the U.S.
 
The Texan city of Taylor is reportedly the likeliest candidate. Samsung has filed for Chapter 313 incentives that lower taxes on the chip plant.  
 
The company’s chip plant in Austin, Texas, was built in 1996. Samsung has invested a total of 17 billion won in the Austin plant over the last two decades.  
 

KIM TAE-YOON, LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]
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