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ICT R&D investment shows polarization between conglomerates, small firms

All News 09:46 December 30, 2018

SEOUL, Dec. 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korean conglomerates expanded research investment in information and communication technology (ICT) sector over the past few years whereas smaller firms tightened their belts on such expenditures, data showed Sunday.

According to the data compiled by state-run Institute for Information & Communications Technology Promotion (IITP), South Korea's top 1,000 firms invested 29.5 trillion won (US$26.4 billion) on research and development (R&D) for the ICT in 2017, rising sharply from 19.4 trillion won reported for 2011.

By companies, affiliates of conglomerates spent 25 trillion won on various R&D projects last year, rising 8 percent annually since 15.8 trillion won in 2011.

Companies that are considered between conglomerates and midsized firms posted an annual growth of 9.5 percent to reach 2.4 trillion won.

The investment from smaller firms, on the other hand, lost ground.

Midsized companies invested 1.6 trillion won last year, down from 1.7 trillion won in 2011. Small firms allocated 193.8 billion won to ICT research, falling sharply from 322.8 billion won in 2011.

The IITP said 41 conglomerates accounted for 85.2 percent of the combined investment in 2017, with the top five players accounting for 75 percent. The researcher highlighted that the market kingpin Samsung Electronics Co. accounted for 46.1 percent of the combined R&D investment.

The R&D investment on hardware segments, including chips, shot up to 27 trillion won last year from 17.5 trillion won in 2011, accounting for a whopping 90 percent of the combined amount.

ICT R&D investment shows polarization between conglomerates, small firms - 1


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