Last week, it was reported that Samsung was in talks to purchase a stake in BYD, China’s largest EV manufacturer. The deal has now been concluded, with a unit of South Korea’s largest chaebol purchasing a US$449 million (RM1.83 billion) stake in the Chinese automaker.

The buy-in, accomplished via Shanghai Samsung Semiconductor, will offer the Korean electronics giant a key access point to China’s booming electric-vehicle market, Bloomberg reports. Samsung pursued the stake in the Chinese carmaker after its affiliate was among foreign battery makers left off a list of suppliers approved by China, and said that the investment in BYD will also bolster its semiconductor business for cars.

In a statement, BYD said it will use the proceeds obtained to fund an expansion in battery production and research and development into new-energy vehicles for the Chinese market, which surpassed the United States last year to become the global EV market leader.

China has big ambitions for its EV market – its government wants sales of its “new-energy vehicles” to exceed three million units a year by 2025. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, deliveries of such vehicles have already doubled to around 170,000 units in the first half of the year.

The report added that in Samsung’s case, the move into the auto industry is a way to help make up for declining growth in hardware businesses such as televisions and smartphones. As automakers continue to utilise more electronics and displays in their push for automated vehicles, electronics makers are looking to tap into the automotive business.