By Kim Yoo-chul
Samsung Electronics Chief Executive and Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun has decided not to attend an upcoming technology exhibition in the United States amid the ongoing global patent war with its estranged bedfellow Apple, according to Samsung officials Monday.
''Samsung Electronics CEO Kwon will not attend next year's International Consumer Electronics Show (ICES) in Las Vegas in January as Samsung wants to convey a message that there is a Chinese wall between component and finished goods business units,'' said a high-ranking Samsung executive by telephone.
ICES is the world's most influential annual tech fair with all major technology companies showing their latest gadgets in the Las Vegas Convention Center for a week.
''The CEO's absence for the exhibition means the company's consumer electronics division chief Yoon Boo-keun will be there to hold a press conference on Kwon's behalf for the South Korean media for next year's business targets and details,'' said the executive.
Company spokesman Song Cheol-gyu neither denied nor confirmed its CEO's plan for the show. Officials from the Consumer Electronics Association, the show's organizer, weren't available for comments despite multiple calls.
The Chinese wall refers to an information barrier implemented within a firm to prevent information exchange among business units. Officials say this is a way of avoiding conflict of interest problems.
The Cupertino-based Apple was still complaining that Samsung is sharing classified details acquired from the parts business between divisions, therefore Samsung better prepare its set-making strategies ahead of Apple, though Samsung strongly denied the allegation.
Samsung sells displays, memory chips, solid state drives (SSD) and mobile application processors to Apple, while the Suwon, Gyeonggi Province-based outfit is competing with the iPhone maker for the leadership in smartphones.
''CEO Kwon is well-known for his silent leadership. Kwon asked executives to minimize internal events related to parts. That's why Samsung reduced the size of a groundbreaking ceremony for its first flash chip-making plant in the western part of Xi'an,'' said another official from the company.