Samsung in talks to invest in Chinese electric car maker BYD

The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at its headquarters in Seoul

The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at its headquarters in Seoul South Korea

Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest maker of phones and memory chips, said it's in talks with BYD Co. about investing in the Chinese electric-car manufacturer.

Automakers and technology companies have formed a series of partnerships in recent years as the race to develop electric, self-driving, internet-connected vehicles has created demand for more electronics components and software.

The investment will strengthen Samsung's business with BYD for electric-vehicle components and smartphones, the Korean company said. The investment in BYD, backed by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., would bolster Samsung's semiconductor business for cars, the South Korean company said.

The tech giant did not disclose the amount of investment, but South Korean media Hankyung reported it as 500 billion won ($440 million).

A Samsung Electronics representative declined to comment.

The Hong Kong listed shares of BYD rose 4.5 percent following the announcement. The automaker, however, denied Samsung Electronics would buy a 4 percent stake as reported in the Korea Economic Daily.

The company said the talks with BYD will not affect supply deals of Samsung SDI, a lithium-ion battery supplier for electric vehicles.

This may indicate Samsung Electronics' ambitions to actively participate in the EV component supply chain.

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