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Monday, April 15, 2024

Zuckerberg meets Samsung chairman, LG CEO in Seoul

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From left: LG Electronics CEO William Cho, Meta CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg and LG Corp. chief operating officer Kwon Bong-seok pose for a photo after a meeting held in western Seoul on Wednesday. [LG ELECTRONICS]
From left: LG Electronics CEO William Cho, Meta CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg and LG Corp. chief operating officer Kwon Bong-seok pose for a photo after a meeting held in western Seoul on Wednesday. [LG ELECTRONICS]

 

Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg met with LG Electronics CEO William Cho and Samsung Electronics Executive Chairman Lee Jae-yong in Seoul on Wednesday.

During his meeting with Cho, the American tech mogul discussed a potential expansion of the two companies’ partnership in the extended reality (XR) business, according to the electronics maker. A jointly developed XR device by the two companies could potentially hit the market as early as 2025, the LG chief told the local press after the latest meeting.
 
Zuckerberg landed in Korea on Tuesday for a three-day visit, his first trip to the country in 10 years.

Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg waves to the local press at the Seoul Gimpo Business Aviation Center in Gangseo District, western Seoul, on Tuesday. [JOINT PRESS CORPS]
Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg waves to the local press at the Seoul Gimpo Business Aviation Center in Gangseo District, western Seoul, on Tuesday. [JOINT PRESS CORPS]

Zuckerberg and Cho held the latest meeting at the LG Twin Towers in western Seoul for an in-depth discussion seeking to further bolster strategic partnerships in developing a next-generation XR device as well as service, content and platform, said LG Electronics.

The chief operating officer of the LG holding company, Kwon Bong-seok, also attended the meeting, signaling a potential extension of the partnership into other LG companies.

Cho tried Meta’s Quest 3 headset and Ray-Ban smart glasses during their meeting, and also discussed possible collaboration in on-device AI technology utilizing Meta’s large language model.

The two companies entered a partnership for the joint XR device project, local outlets reported in September last year, which LG Electronics did not confirm at the time.

The LG chief previously mentioned during this year’s CES tech fair that the company is zeroing in on the XR sector with investment allocation and organizing structure.

Cho said that the company will invest 10 trillion won ($7.5 billion) this year, 2 trillion won of which will be spent on merger and acquisition deals, possibly in the XR business.

“An actual model of an MR [mixed reality] device jointly developed by LG Electronics and Meta could be potentially unveiled in 2025,” said Cho after the latest meeting, adding that he discussed “collaboration opportunities in media content.”

“There is a lot of scope for possible collaborations, such as the incorporation of Meta’s language model in some 500 million units of LG Electronics devices deployed across the globe,” said Cho.

LG Electronics has teamed up with Meta to secure “a balanced mix of capabilities in not only hardware devices but also content and platform services,” the electronics maker said, suggesting that its content and service-related experiences in the television business will generate synergy with Meta’s technological capabilities.

Zuckerberg met with Samsung Electronics chief Lee in the evening for a dinner in Seungjiwon in Hannam-dong, central Seoul, potentially to discuss collaboration in AI chip development. The pair previously had official meetings back in 2013 and 2014. Seungjiwon was often used as the office of the late Lee Kun Hee, the current executive chairman’s father.

Zuckerberg attended a closed-door meeting with local XR startups in southern Seoul as well. The Meta CEO is reported to have scheduled a meeting with President Yoon Suk Yeol on Thursday.

BY SHIN HA-NEE [shin.hanee@joongang.co.kr]