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South Korean conglomerate Samsung Electronics has formally announced that it plans to invest $7 billion in its NAND memory chip production over the next three years. Samsung has a production facility in the northwestern Chinese city of Xi’an - and made the disclosure via statement which ended months of speculation in relation to the investment.

In a regulatory filing by Samsung the organization stated that it had approved $2.3 billion of the expected investment of $7 billion. In July, Samsung revealed that it would make an investment of $18.6 billion in South Korea, which it claimed would subsequently create thousands of new jobs in the process.

Samsung has confirmed that it would add a new production line at the NAND plant facility in Xi’an, but did not set an investment amount. It also declined to speculate on the amount of capacity that will be added by the approved or planned investment.

Research conducted by IHS has shown that Samsung accounted for 38.3% of the global NAND flash memory chip revenue from April to June. China has previously expressed its desire to develop its own memory chip producers, but analysts have predicted that it will take several years before the country is in a position to compete with the existing producers of flash memory.

In addition to this, Samsung Electronics has projected that the memory chip boom which propelled it to a record profit in the second-quarter would continue in July-September quarter. Japan’s Toshiba looks set to finally sell its flash memory chip unit to Western Digital after months of speculation, negotiations and legal battles.

Samsung Group has endured a difficult number of days following the decision by the judiciary in Seoul to jail its billionaire head Jay Y. Lee for bribery. In a scandal that brought down the former South Korean president, the court found Lee guilty of bribery and perjury and sentenced him to five years imprisonment. However, it is expected that he will appeal the decision described by commentators as a ‘landmark’ ruling in South Korea.

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