SK Hynix has huge expansion plans, the company announced yesterday it will invest a massive $107 billion next decade to build four new factories to fend off competition from Chinese newcomers. The plants will be built on a 4.5 million square meter site south of Seoul, with construction set to start in 2022.
The new facilities will be built alongside two existing fabs that will receive a separate $49 billion investment over the next decade. SK Hynix thinks the new capacity is needed to prepare for a surge in demand caused by 5G, AI and self-driving cars.
The plan also intensifies an arms race between South Korea, the world’s biggest exporter of memory chips, and China, which has been aggressively encouraging chipmaking investment to curb reliance on imports amid a trade spat with the United States.
China is the world’s largest chip consumer, importing $270 billion worth in 2017 - more than its total imports of crude oil.