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South Korea could face fierce global competition that threatens entire industries in four to six years, Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee said.

"Not only Samsung but the whole nation should wake up. Otherwise we may face a chaotic situation in four to six years," Lee said at a meeting of business and political leaders at Kim Koo Museum in Seoul on Friday, the Korea Times reported.

Lee said Samsung should leave its struggling home appliance business to developing countries with cheap labor.

While Samsung's semiconductor, TV and mobile phone businesses are profitable, its refrigerator, air conditioner and washing machine lines have lost money, Korea Times reported.

"We should pay attention to it, but it is not a category that suits Korea," Lee said. "We may continue to sell in the domestic market, but it will be hard to export. We should turn it over to developing nations."

The newspaper said Samsung's public relations office later said Lee meant Samsung plans to increase production of home appliances overseas.


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