Samsung heir meets Chinese leader to improve business cooperation

On his first overseas business trip in months, Samsung heir apparent Lee Jae-Yong visited the company’s memory chip factory in Xi’an, China. During his two-day visit, he also met Hu Heping, Communist Party Secretary of the Shaanxi province, to improve business ties.

During the meeting, Hu Heping reportedly expressed appreciation for Samsung offering quarantine aid for Chinese citizens, including the Chinese employees working for the South Korean firm in the region. The Communist Party leader also praised Samsung’s efforts to practice a strict quarantine program as a foreign company and asked to improve the cooperation.

The government in the Shaanxi province has pledged to provide complete support for all Samsung investments and factories in the region. Last year, the South Korean company had announced an $8 billion investment to expand the chip plant in Xi’an, China. However, the memory chip leader has been facing issues in the plant’s expansion due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Samsung’s Xi’an plant in China is its only memory chip production facility outside of South Korea. It was started in 2014, and the company had decided in 2017 to expand the plant. It recently sent around 200 engineers to oversee the factory’s expansion. Production of memory chips at the facility could begin anytime soon.

China and South Korea have started operating a fast-track entry system for business professionals, which allows them to travel without the 14-day quarantine rule that is applicable for other travelers. Lee Jae-Yong visited a dedicated coronavirus test center after landing in China and before flying back to Seoul, South Korea.

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