SK Telecom is seeking partnerships with Korean artificial intelligence (AI) companies, including Samsung Electronics, to confront the big four U.S. tech companies -- Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple (GAFA).
“If Korean companies do not join forces, we may end up conceding our market to GAFA and becoming users of their products,” SK Telecom CEO Park Jung-ho said at a news conference at CES 2020, the world’s largest IT exhibition in Las Vegas, United States on Jan. 8 (local time).
Samsung Electronics is likely to be the next partner for SK Telecom, which earlier announced full-scale cooperation with Kakao. “I met Samsung Electronics CEO Koh Dong-jin at CES 2020 and discussed a partnership under which the two companies combine AI capabilities but go their own way in brand management or application development,” Park said. He also said SK Telecom will promote an AI alliance by forging partnerships with other Korean companies.
Park also announced his plan to maintain close ties with global powerhouses in other areas. He visited the Amazon booth at CES 2020 to talk with Amazon Web Services (AWS) CEO Andy Jassy about the cloud business based on 5G mobile edge computing (MEC). SK Telecom signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Viton, an electric car company, on Jan. 7. The company has also established ties with Microsoft, Deutsche Telekom, and Sinclair. Park emphasized, “This year will be quite fruitful for us and cooperation will expand, and I think this is the right approach for Korean companies.”