SEOUL, Apr. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean companies lag far behind their Asian peers in Japan, China and Taiwan in research and development investment, a local think tank said Wednesday.
Thirteen Korean companies made it to the ranks of the world’s top 500 R&D companies last year. South Korea ranked ninth in terms of the number of companies and eighth in the value of R&D investments, according to the Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI).
The United States topped the list with 196 firms, followed by Japan with 85, China with 33, Germany’s 24, France’s 22, Britain’s 20 and Taiwan’s 15, the KERI said, citing Standard & Poor’s data.
The Korean firms spent a total of US$26 billion on R&D activities in 2018, lagging far behind the U.S. firms’ R&D investments worth $372 billion, the Japanese firms’ $103 billion and the Chinese firms’ $49 billion, the data showed.
Samsung Electronics, the country’s largest firm by sales, accounted for a whopping 49 percent of the Korean firms’ R&D investments in total last year. If the chip giant is excluded, the 12 other firms’ R&D spending stood at $9.4 billion last year, it said.
The 13 Korean firms are Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics Co., SK hynix Inc., LG Display Co., Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Motors Corp., Hyundai Mobis Co., LG Chem Ltd., Samsung SDI Co., POSCO, SK Telecom Co. and Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co.