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Samsung expected to create 40,000 new jobs, including generating up to 20,000 additional new jobs on top of the previous hiring plans, over the next three years.

Industry watchers said the company's latest investment plan is set to focus on building Samsung's capabilities in the chip segment, as global rivals, especially those from China, have been trying to catch up. But its profits have suffered from disappointing sales and slowing demand for some memory chips.

The investments, which will be primarily led by Samsung Electronics, will be used for the company to add artificial intelligence researchers, to be a global player in next generation telecoms technology and to boost its presence in electronics components for future cars.

Samsung is investing $22bn (£17bn) in "growth areas" including artificial intelligence and 5G over the next three years, the company announced on Wednesday. Samsung said KRW130 trillion (€100.13 billion) of this bonanza will be spent in its native Korea. However, it told Reuters that "it will provide most of the investment".

On the education front, the company is setting up a number of software education centers in South Korea, offering training and "employment consulting" to about 10,000 students and job candidates.

In addition, the company will expand its venture capital investments to identify promising new businesses and technology.

Lee was freed after almost a year in jail. He is appealing the conviction.

With his case to be reviewed by the Supreme Court, coupled with incumbent President Moon Jae-in's drive to impose tougher restrictions on family-controlled conglomerates, industry watchers said Lee sought to recover the group's public reputation and build a better relationship with the government through the investment.

Areas that will be targeted for investment include the company's manufacturing hubs, as well as existing memory and display businesses.

"Kim's visit to Samsung. showed the momentum for chaebol reform has been all but lost", he said.

Samsung Electronics stocks traded flat.