SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics will spend 180 trillion won ($160 billion) on capital investment and research and development over the next three years, of which 25 trillion won, or $22 billion, will go to the development of new businesses, the company said Wednesday.
The overall capital investment and R&D outlay is an increase of 10 trillion won from the previous three-year period through 2017 for the South Korean technology company.
Although the company has not released a breakdown of the spending, 60% will likely be devoted to memory products like semiconductors, while liquid crystal display and organic light-emitting diode panels receive 10%. That would keep investment in the chip segment roughly the same as the last fiscal year ended December, but panels would fall from a 20% slice to allocate money for the new businesses and other expenditures.
The new businesses that Samsung intends to develop include fifth-generation wireless communications, biopharmaceuticals, artificial intelligence and auto components.
Of the total, more than 100 trillion won is expected to be earmarked for capital investment and 130 trillion won will be spent in South Korea.
Infrastructure for 5G services and biopharmaceuticals are areas of particular interest to Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, who leads the company.
In 5G, Samsung is cultivating the market for chips in devices like smartphones and base stations in the U.S., aiming to secure 20% of the global market by 2021, double that of its 4G share.
The company will also focus on developing biosimilar drugs going forward, having already established manufacturing services for pharmaceutical products.
Voice and image-recognition technology for smartphones and image sensors for self-driving cars will be among the artificial intelligence-related products to receive investment.
Aside from biopharmaceutical manufacturing services, Samsung is not a strong player in any of these fields and will have to play catch-up with the world's top information technology companies and components makers.
When Lee was arrested in February 2017 on bribery charges involving ousted President Park Geun-hye, Samsung insiders were more worried about its future two years down the road than its current situation. They believed managers from mainstay segments like semiconductors could watch over daily operations, but were concerned that the company's growth strategy would be set back without its chief.
But the company is no longer leaderless after Lee's release last February. He vowed Monday that Samsung would lead the so-called fourth industrial revolution, to which the four new businesses are closely connected.
In each area, however, technological advance is rapid and the competition is intense. Should these businesses fail to produce results by 2020, the company could risk a sudden drop in earnings as the chip market deteriorates.
Mitsuru Obe in Tokyo contributed to this report