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South Korea Ranks Fourth in R&D Investment in ICT Sector
Samsung Electronics Takes up 60% of Korea's Total
South Korea Ranks Fourth in R&D Investment in ICT Sector
  • By Kim Eun-jin
  • December 17, 2018, 09:28
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South Korea’s R&D investment in the ICT sector totaled US$26.88 billion last year, the fourth largest in the world.

South Korea ranked fourth in the world for the sixth consecutive year in terms of R&D investment in the ICT sector. Samsung Electronics increased its R&D investment by 26% in one year, accounting for approximately 60% of the country’s total.

According to the Institute for Information and Communications Technology Promotion (IITP), South Korea’s R&D investment in the ICT sector totaled US$26.88 billion last year, when those of the United States, China and Japan totaled US$167.35 billion, US$43.86 billion and US$37.9 billion, respectively.

South Korea has ranked fourth for six years in a row since records began in 2012. South Korea’s ICT R&D investment fell from US$23.27 billion to US$21.45 billion from 2014 to 2015, and then rebounded to US$21.85 billion in 2016 and increased by more than US$5 billion last year.

In 2017, the world’s top 1,000 companies in terms of ICT R&D investment included 28 South Korean companies, two less than in the previous year. The number, which was 36 in 2014, fell to 31 in 2015 and 30 in 2016. A total of 350 U.S. companies put their names on the list last year, followed by 215 Chinese, 103 Japanese, 101 Taiwanese, 24 British, 22 Hong Kong-based and 20 German.

The IITP has provided the top 1,000 list covering 35,060 ICT companies based on the S&P Global Market Intelligence report. Last year, Alphabet topped the list for the third consecutive year with an investment of US$16.63 billion.

It was followed by Samsung Electronics, which rose from third to second place by increasing its investment from US$12.72 billion to US$16.06 billion. Samsung Electronics topped the list from 2012 to 2014, but came in second or third in 2015 to 2017. The company’s R&D investment accounted for 59.7% of South Korea’s total.

Huawei climbed two notches to third with US$13.78 billion while Intel (US$13.1 billion) slid from second to fourth place. Microsoft came in fifth with US$13.04 billion, followed by Apple, Facebook, Oracle, Cisco and IBM.

LG Electronics ranked 17th with US$3.43 billion. Samsung Display and SK Hynix took the 30th and 33rd places with US$1.99 billion and US$1.85 billion, respectively. LG Display came in 54th with US$1.14 billion. Samsung SDI, SK Telecom, Samsung Electro-Mechanics, NCSoft, KT and Amkor Technology Korea posted an investment of at least US$100 million, too.

In the meantime, 349 companies’ R&D investment showed an average annual growth of at least 20% for the past three years. For reference, the number was 243 during the period of 2010 to 2012. The 349 companies include 122 Chinese and 120 U.S. companies.