Samsung’s top brass convene as south Korea’s chip exports plunge

The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at its office building in Seoul, on Jan 7. (Reuters pic)

SEOUL: Samsung Electronics Co. Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee convened a meeting with top executives and discussed ways to deal with the worsening global business environment as South Korea’s chip exports plunged.

The meeting on Saturday at Samsung’s memory-chip plant in Hwaseong, South Korea, came on the day the country reported a 30.5% decline in semiconductor exports for May. Worsening US-China trade tensions and uncertainties surrounding Brexit have weighed heavily on the global economic outlook, and complicated prospects for South Korea, whose economy is seen as a bellwether for world trade.

While Lee didn’t mention the trade war, the de facto head of the world’s biggest memory-chip maker said the business environment is “changing rapidly.” He called for continued investment to secure a long-term lead in technology, according to the emailed statement from Samsung on Sunday.

In April, falling chip sales led Samsung to announce its worst operating profit in years, while the company indefinitely postponed the release of its first foldable smartphone after reports of screen failures. The Suwon, South Korea-based company is expected to report second-quarter earnings next month.