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How Samsung fell behind TSMC in the race for cutting-edge chips

Trailing in technology risks hurting company's smartphone business

Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong made a quick trip to ASML in the Netherlands to secure much needed advanced chipmaking gear.

SEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong flew to the Netherlands in fall 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic, seeking crucial semiconductor production equipment supplied exclusively by Dutch manufacturer ASML.

This equipment is indispensable for the South Korean company's cutting-edge products. ASML says it has shipped about 100 units worldwide -- but more than 70% have gone to Samsung rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.

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