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Samsung chairman arrives in Beijing to attend China business summit

By Jie Ye-eun

Published : March 24, 2023 - 15:49

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Samsung Electronics Executive Chairman Lee Jae-yong (Bloomberg) Samsung Electronics Executive Chairman Lee Jae-yong (Bloomberg)

Samsung Electronics Executive Chairman Lee Jae-yong on Thursday arrived in Beijing to attend a high-profile corporate summit this weekend, according to industry sources Friday.

It is the first time in three years for the de facto leader of Samsung Group to visit China, where the tech giant operates major production facilities.

Lee is scheduled to attend the three-day China Development Forum set to run at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse until Monday.

Attending by invitation, he is expected to be joined by global business leaders and high-ranking Chinese government officials.

Among the key participants are Apple CEO Tim Cook, Mercedes-Benz Group AG Chairman Ola Kallenius and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.

Under the theme of “Economic Recovery: Opportunities and Cooperation,” this year’s forum will focus on opportunities in the Chinese market, stabilization of global supply chains and the green transition, according to the organizer, the Development Research Center of China's State Council.

Lee’s visit to Beijing is drawing great attention from industry circles as it came shortly after the US on Tuesday announced the details of its guardrails provisions for its CHIPS for America Incentive Program, which limit the government’s subsidy recipients’ production expansion in China amid the intensifying Washington-Beijing rivalry.

Samsung runs two chip manufacturing plants in Xi'an that produce about 40 percent of the world’s largest memory chipmaker’s global NAND flash products. In Suzhou, the tech giant operates a semiconductor packaging factory, as well as a manufacturing plant for home appliances such as air conditioners and refrigerators.

Sources say the Samsung chief is highly likely to visit the company’s business operations and encourage employees there.

In May 2020, the last time when he visited China, Lee met with government officials of the Shaanxi Province and inspected the Xi'an chip plants.