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SK Group to invest $77B in AI and semiconductors by 2028

Strategic Investment in AI and Semiconductors

SK Group, South Korea’s second-largest conglomerate after Samsung, is investing 106.4 trillion won ($77 billion) in artificial intelligence and semiconductors through 2028. This investment will be led by SK Hynix Inc., SK Telecom Co., and SK Broadband Co., as announced after a two-day strategy meeting of affiliate chief executives.

SK Hynix will spend 103 trillion won, with 80% allocated to AI chips, including high-bandwidth memory (HBM) and other AI-related businesses. SK Telecom and SK Broadband will invest 3.4 trillion won in data centers and hardware projects.

Restructuring and Financing

The conglomerate plans to secure funds through corporate restructuring, including asset sales, integrating overlapping businesses, and removing inefficient business practices. The goal is to raise 80 trillion won through these efforts, including securing 30 trillion won in free cash flow within the next three years.

SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, who attended the meeting online from the US, emphasized the importance of strengthening AI value chain leadership, from AI services to AI chips. Chey Chang-won, head of the SK Supex Council, stressed focusing on the group’s core profitable businesses instead of future investments like hydrogen and biotech.

Focus on HBM Chips

Despite being second in the memory market, SK Hynix leads in the HBM segment, essential for the AI boom due to its faster processing speed. The company is the dominant supplier of HBM chips to Nvidia, the world’s top AI chip designer.

SK Hynix is building a 20 trillion won HBM packaging line in Korea and a 40 trillion won memory chip complex in the Yongin Semiconductor Cluster. Additionally, in the US, it is constructing a $3.9 billion advanced chip packaging plant and AI research center in Indiana.