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Global chip 'warfare': South Korea's $19 bln package

STORY: South Korea announced a major $19 billion package for its chip businesses on Thursday (May 23).

Seoul made the move amid what it called "all-out warfare" in the global semiconductor market.

Authorities want to keep up with other countries in areas like chip design and contract manufacturing.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.

"As we all know, semiconductors are a field where all-out national warfare is underway. Win or lose, that depends on who can make cutting-edge semiconductors first. We need to provide strong support for semiconductors to ensure that our country doesn't fall behind others in the competition.”


It comes months after Yoon said his government would pour all possible resources into the country's chip industry.

He said he would extend tax credits on investments in the domestic semiconductor industry to boost employment and attract more talent.

South Korea is home to the world's top memory chip makers Samsung and SK Hynix.

But the country has fallen behind some rivals in areas like chip design and contract manufacturing.

The government said it aimed to boost the country's global market share in non-memory chips, such as mobile processors, to 10% - that would be up from the current 2%.

Semiconductors are a hot topic.

Countries around the world, ranging from China to the U.S., have invested billions of dollars into supporting their own chip sectors.