Ex-Samsung executive's new job in Chinese company stirs business community

12, Jun. 2020

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SEOUL, AJU - It's rare for any faithful Samsung executives to enter Chinese companies after retirement, especially in competitive semiconductor and display fields. However, Jang Won-ki broke conventional wisdom to join a Chinese chip design and solutions company, sparking concerns about technology leaks.

Jang, 66, was recruited as vice chairman of Beijing Eswin Computing Technology headed by Wang Dongsheng who founded BOE Technology Group, one of the world's largest manufacturers of flat panels and flexible displays. Wang left BOE in 2019 to start a new business in February this year.

Jang joined Samsung as a semiconductor engineer in 1981 and headed Samsung’s LCD business from 2009 to 2011 before serving as executive chief of Samsung China from 2011. He quit Samsung in 2017. His new job in Wang's new enterprise became a hot issue in South Korea's business community this week because it came as Samsung Electronics is on guard to thwart an aggressive challenge by Chinese rivals.

Jang came out to play down his move, saying he decided to join the Chinese company just because of personal connections with Wang. In a newspaper interview, he ruled out any technology outflow that can damage Samsung because he would act as a simple advisor about the overall direction of Wang's business.

Top Samsung executives have warned that competition with Chinese companies would get fierce in smartphone and other fields, calling for pre-emptive measures to widen a gap with them by stepping up the development of new technologies and products.