Senior Chinese officials have met with Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong and asked for increased collaboration, in words that can be interpreted as pressuring Samsung for most investments.
Hu Heping, Communist Party Secretary of Shaanxi Province, told Lee in a meeting Monday for strengthened collaboration in flash memory, system semiconductors, batteries and bio, according the People’s Daily and Chinese local media Tuesday.
Hu reportedly said the province will guarantee and support Samsung projects in the area.
Samsung currently has a flash memory plant in Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province, and a battery plant there as well as another at Tianjin. The conglomerate doesn’t have any facilities that make logic chips or bio-medicine in China. Lee said the two sides would “expand collaborative areas.”
A Samsung spokesperson said Hu and Lee seemed to have had a “general discussion” rather than anything specific.
However, a person familiar with the matter told TheElec that China was exerting pressure on Samsung to invest more there. The South Korean tech behemoth is proceeding with investment plans for its second factory in Xi’an __ despite fears over possible technology leaks __ in part due to this pressure, they said.
The recent comment by Hu “shouldn’t be taken lightly” but a decision should be made in light of the US-China trade war, they added.
Meanwhile, the US announced new sanctions aimed at Chinese tech giant Huawei on Friday, which prevents Huawei and its subsidiaries from using semiconductors designed and made using US technology without permission.