Only 24 South Korean companies put their names on the 2018 list of global top 1,000 R&D investors. Meanwhile, China increased its number from 80 to 147 in four years to beat Japan and come in second behind the United States.
The Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology announced on Feb. 5 that the 24 South Korean companies include Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, SK Hynix, Hyundai Motors, Kia Motors, LG Chem, Hyundai Mobis, and Korea Electric Power Corporation. The number fell from 25 to 24 in one year and South Korea ranked eighth on the list in both 2017 and 2018.
The United States put 319 companies on the list and China took the second place for the first time. The number of Japanese companies on the list fell from 153 to 145. Germany came in fourth with 70, followed by Britain (51), France (39), Taiwan (27), and Switzerland and South Korea.
The R&D investment of the 24 South Korean companies totaled 28.7 billion euros in 2018. The amount increased by approximately two billion euros in one year and was the sixth-largest in the world as in the previous year. The R&D investment of the 1,000 companies added up to 738.5 billion euros in 2018, up 11.1 percent from a year earlier. The U.S. companies on the list recorded a total R&D investment of 286.7 billion euros, followed by Japanese (99.3 billion euros), German (79.4 billion euros), Chinese (76.8 billion euros) and French (29.1 billion euros).
Alphabet topped the list by company with an R&D investment of 18.3 billion euros. Samsung Electronics slid from first to second with 14.8 billion euros, up 9.8 percent from a year ago, and Microsoft’s investment increased 14.6 percent to 14.7 billion euros. Volkswagen (13.6 billion euros), Huawei (12.7 billion euros), Apple (12.4 billion euros) and Intel (11.8 billion euros) followed them on the list. As for South Korean companies, LG Electronics ranked 57th (down 0.2 percent to 2.6 billion euros), SK Hynix ranked 63rd (up 16.2 percent to 2.2 billion euros) and Hyundai Motors ranked 69th (up 10.8 percent to 2 billion euros).
In the meantime, the 1,000 largest South Korean R&D investors’ total R&D investment increased by approximately four trillion won to 50 trillion won or so in 2018. That year, the companies registered a total of 27,205 patents in South Korea and the number increased by approximately 1,600.