Seoul: Samsung Electronics has sent 300 more South Korean engineers and workers to China to complete the expansion of its second chip manufacturing facility there amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The move came a month after Samsung dispatched 200 engineers to the Xian plant in Shaanxi Province.
Samsung said the workers will be exempted from 14-day mandatory isolation under the “fast-track” entry system approved by South Korea and China, but they still need to be quarantined for three days even after they all test negative for the virus.
Last week, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong returned home from his trip to the Xian plant.
The Xian plant is Samsung’s only foreign memory chip factory that makes 3D NAND flash products. The South Korean tech giant last year revealed it will invest an additional $8 billion in the plant for expansion.
Also, SK Innovation Co. and Kia Motors Corp. sent a combined total of 220 workers to their manufacturing facilities in Yancheng, in the northeastern Jiangsu province, through the fast-track entry system.
Samsung is also adding a foundry production line in South Korea to expand its presence in the contract chipmaking sector dominated by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) Ltd. and reduce its heavy reliance on its memory chip business.
The new foundry manufacturing line using the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology will be established at its chip plant in Pyeongtaek, some 70 km south of Seoul, said the company.
Foundry refers to the contract chip manufacturing business for fabless chipmakers that design and sell semiconductors for various types of electronics, reports Yonhap news agency.