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Samsung is buying a stake in a Chinese electric carmaker BYD

The South Korea tech giant is buying a stake in Chinese automaker BYD that, at least at first, will help boost the two companies' businesses in parts for electric cars and smartphones. What's next may be more important, however. Samsung says that the two will talk about possible partnerships in "various businesses" -- don't be surprised if they work closely together.

Samsung said it has not finalised how much it would spend to buy the stake, nor how big a holding it would take in BYD, which specializes in electric vehicles and is backed by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

The Korea Economic Daily reported earlier on Friday that Samsung agreed to buy new shares worth 3 billion yuan ($449 million) in BYD, which would give Samsung a 4 percent stake in the automaker.

BYD confirmed in a stock exchange filing that Samsung Electronics had participated in their non-public issuance, but did not disclose the amount of its investment as the offering had yet to close. The automaker, however, denied Samsung Electronics would buy a 4 percent stake as reported in the Korea Economic Daily.

The electric car market is quickly heating up, and Samsung could ride the bandwagon by supplying BYD with everything from batteries to processors. As it stands, Samsung might not want to sit on the sidelines when its big rival Apple is reportedly designing an EV of its own.

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