Samsung Tops Global R&D Spending, EU Report Shows

  • By Park Soon-chan

    December 13, 2018 10:17

    Samsung led the world's major companies in spending on research and development in 2017, laying out 13.44 billion euros.

    The Korean giant topped the R&D ranking in the latest EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, which was released by the European Commission on Wednesday. It moved up from fourth place in the previous year to top the list for the first time since it was first released in 2004.

    Samsung spent 11.5 percent more on R&D in 2017 compared to the previous year as it posted bumper sales and operating profit on the back of a global boom in the semiconductor market.

    Alphabet, the parent company of U.S. tech giant Google, was second with 13.39 billion euros, followed by German carmaker Volkswagen, Microsoft of the U.S., and China's Huawei. Other Korean firms on the list were LG (53rd), SK Hynix (67th) and Hyundai (73rd).

    However, Samsung had a relatively low R&D intensity -- the ratio of R&D expenditures to sales -- at 7.2 percent. This compares to Intel's 20.9 percent, Huawei's 14.7 percent and Alphabet's 14.5 percent.

    The U.S. accounted for 37.2 percent of the 736.4 billion euros in total R&D expenditures by 2,500 companies around the globe, followed by Japan (13.6 percent), Germany (10.9 percent) and China (9.7 percent). Korea tied with France and the U.K. with 3.9 percent. 

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