In May last year, the Chinese government approved of POSCO’s project for building a three million ton integrated steel mill with Chongqing Iron and Steel Company. POSCO is scheduled to take a licensing fee, on a yearly basis, for its FINEX technology to be used at the steel mill. The Korean steel company researched the technology for 23 years, spending more than a trillion won a year.
This is an example of how Korean companies are tiding over the current recession by means of the new businesses they have worked on for over a decade. Their investment for preparing for hard times is bearing fruit amid the weak yen, sluggish domestic consumption, and slowdown of the Chinese economy.
Another of the examples is Samsung, which is focusing on the combination of biotechnology and electronics. Samsung BioEpis recently filed for the approval of SB4, a biosimilar of the rheumatoid arthritis medicine Enbrel, in Canada, while accelerating research on the application of electronics technology to healthcare.
The Hyundai Motor Group is seeking new opportunities in green cars. It is trying to take the lead in the hydrogen car market in particular, which is predicted to reach 400 trillion won (US$357 billion) in size in or before 2030. LG Electronics is expanding its business in the auto parts industry. Its Vehicle Components (VC) Division recorded 382.6 billion won (US$342.4 million) in sales in the first quarter of this year. The Hanwha Group, in the meantime, signed a contract for supplying 1.5 gigawatts of photovoltaic modules in the U.S. in April this year.