Zucker­berg posts photo of his visit to Sam­sung

JoongAng Daily - - Business & Industry - BY LEE HO-JEONG ojlee82@joongang.co.kr

Face­book co-founder and CEO Mark Zucker­berg shared a photo and com­mented on his re­cent trip to a Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics plant in Hwaseong.

The visit by Zucker­berg has fu­eled spec­u­la­tion in the IT com­mu­nity about stronger co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the world’s largest so­cial net­work company and the lead­ing smart­phone maker.

The visit comes at a time when it is widely be­lieved that Sam­sung is try­ing to rein­vent it­self and ex­pand beyond its smart­phone business to the In­ter­net of Things (IoT) and other soft­ware-ori­ented busi­nesses.

Zucker­berg posted a pic­ture of him­self and six oth­ers from his company in­clud­ing David Mar­cus, the for­mer PayPal pres­i­dent who quit to join Face­book as vice pres­i­dent of mes­sag­ing prod­ucts, and Sh­eryl Sand­berg, Face­book’s chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, vis­it­ing the Korean tech company’s com­puter chip plant dressed in full gear.

“I had the op­por­tu­nity to bring Face­book’s man­age­ment team to visit Sam­sung in Korea to learn about their cul­ture and how they build the de­vices that hun­dreds of mil­lion of peo­ple use to con­nect,” Zucker­berg wrote on Face­book.

“A high­light was see­ing the Hwaseong cam­pus, where Sam­sung pro­duces 40 per­cent of the world’s mem­ory chips. The pre­ci­sion of their process is in­spir­ing. We had to wear clean suits so small dust par­ti­cles didn’t in­ter­fere with their ma­chines.”

He then noted that he was look­ing for­ward to work­ing with Sam­sung in con­nect­ing the world.

Ad­vanc­ing beyond smart­phones has be­come one of the ma­jor chal­lenges fac­ing the Korean tech company. In par­tic­u­lar, the fail­ure of the Galaxy S5 cost Sam­sung dearly in the third quar­ter, as year-on-year op­er­at­ing profit fell 60 per­cent to 4 tril­lion won ($3.76 bil­lion).

In re­cent months, Sam­sung has shifted its fo­cuses to soft­ware de­vel­op­ment by hold­ing var­i­ous fo­rums for pro­gram­mers and soft­ware en­gi­neers, in­clud­ing an open-source fo­rum for its Tizen op­er­at­ing sys­tem.

Fur­ther co­op­er­a­tion with Face­book is ex­pected to help so­lid­ify Sam­sung’s en­trance into a field that is dom­i­nated by ri­val Ap­ple and close part­ner Google.

Zucker­berg also had din­ner with Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics Vice Chair­man and heir-ap­par­ent Jay Y. Lee on Tues­day at the company’s head­quar­ters in Seo­cho, Gang­nam Dis­trict, south­ern Seoul. The meet­ing fu­eled spec­u­la­tion that the two com­pa­nies will fur­ther co­op­er­ate on the de­vel­op­ment of vir­tual re­al­ity de­vices and ser­vices like the Gear VR, a head­set Sam­sung has worked on with Ocu­lus, which was ac­quired by Face­book in March.

There have also been ru­mors the two might col­lab­o­rate on a Face­book­cen­tric phone.

Although sev­eral Face­book phones were de­vel­oped by the Tai­wanese smart­phone company HTC, they failed to gain a wide fol­low­ing.

This was the third time Zucker­berg and Lee met this year. The two also met a year ago at the Sam­sung head­quar­ters when Zucker­berg vis­ited Seoul.

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