By Kang Doo-soon and Kim Hyo-jin
South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc. is building a hospital in Wuxi, China at a cost of $300 million as the memory giant aims to strengthen community ties in the regional base of its Chinese manufacturing plant while grooming its health care capabilities.
According to industry sources on Sunday, Park Sung-wook, chief executive and vice chairman of SK Hynix, met with Li Xiaomin, Communist Party Secretary of Wuxi, last April and agreed to build a general hospital in the eastern city of Wuxi by 2022.
The company said this would be its largest-ever social contribution project and will be funded by its Wuxi operation. The hospital will first be equipped with 700 to 800 patient beds and later expanded to 1,500-2,000 beds upon demand.
According to Chinese media outlets, the new hospital would be a third-level general hospital complete with surgery, tumor treatment and dialysis centers.
With the completion of the hospital, SK Group is expected to accelerate its efforts to groom its Wuxi as its key Chinese outpost for health care, one of its main future growth engines. In 2015, SK Telecom Co., Korea’s top mobile carrier and an affiliate of SK Hynix, joined hands with the Wuxi city government to build an ICT-based health care center in Wuxi Xinqu Hospital. Since 2016, the two affiliates have also been running a health bus program in the city to provide free medical care to socially marginalized neighborhoods.
In 2005, SK Hynix built a DRAM chip plant in Wuxi where it has invested a total of $11 billion over the past 13 years.