​Samsung invests in China's BYD for electric car chip supply

Samsung will invest in China's largest electric car maker BYD, reportedly for $440 million, to grow its semiconductor business for connected cars.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer

Samsung Electronics will invest in Chinese electric car and smartphone component maker BYD, the company has said.

The tech giant did not disclose the amount of investment, but South Korean media Hankyung reported it as 500 billion won ($440 million).

The company said it will reveal its precise stake and figures of the investment when it is conclusively decided.

The main purpose of the deal is to strengthen Samsung's semiconductor business for electric cars, and also to strengthen the firms' mutual partnership in electronic car and smartphone component businesses, Samsung said. It will not interfere in BYD's management, the tech giant added.

BYD, the largest electric car maker in the world, is the main supplier of metal cases for the Galaxy S6 series and the more recent Galaxy S7 series and the upcoming Note 7.

The deal will likely ensure continued supply of the metal cases, while BYD, which makes most of its own components, including lithium-ion batteries for its cars, can explore memory chips and sensors made by Samsung.

Samsung formed a division focused on automotives in last year's reshuffle. Mostly led by semiconductor experts, its purpose is to widen supply to future connected car vendors.

The world's largest memory chip maker is also trying to diversify its portfolio to processors and sensors. The firm already gives its semiconductors to compatriot car maker Hyundai.

Samsung denied that the deal was related to affiliate Samsung SDI, which makes lithium-ion batteries, to get supply.

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