Skip to Content


« Back to Glossary Index

**Samsung Overview and Evolution:**
– Samsung, meaning ‘three stars’ in Korean, started as a small trading company in Su-dong.
– Diversified into various industries like insurance, retail, and electronics.
– Introduced the SPC-1000, Samsung’s first personal computer in the 1970s.
– Globalized activities in the 1990s, focusing on mobile phones and semiconductors.
– Samsung is the largest South Korean chaebol and has a significant global brand value.
– Notable affiliates include Samsung Everland, Samsung Engineering, and Samsung C&T Corporation.

**Samsung’s Influence and Operations:**
– Samsung has a significant impact on South Korea’s economic development, politics, media, and culture.
– Samsung affiliate companies contribute around a fifth of South Korea’s total exports.
– Criticisms include limiting consumer choices, colluding to fix prices, and wielding significant power in various sectors.
– Samsung has approximately 80 companies involved in construction, consumer electronics, financial services, shipbuilding, and medical services.
– The conglomerate has research and development stations enabling entry into industries like high-polymer chemicals, aerospace, and nanotechnology.

**Samsung Leadership and Affiliates:**
– Leaders like Lee Byung-chul and Lee Kun-hee have played key roles in Samsung’s development.
– Affiliates like Samsung Electronics produce a wide range of products, including air conditioners, computers, mobile phones, and semiconductors.
– Notable companies under Samsung Group include Samsung Engineering, Samsung Insurance, Samsung Heavy Industries, and Samsung Life Insurance.

**Samsung’s Strategic Moves and Acquisitions:**
– Samsung opened a development center in Warsaw, Poland, in 2000, focusing on set-top-box technology, digital TV, and smartphones.
– Samsung announced a ten-year growth strategy in 2010, including biopharmaceuticals.
– Acquisitions include Rollei, a German camera manufacturer, and stakes in companies like Pantech, Rambus Inc., and Seagate Technology.
– Joint ventures and partnerships with companies like MEMC, Sungjin Geotec, and Sharp Corporation have been established.

**Samsung’s Divestments and Defunct Ventures:**
– Divestments include Samsung Thales Co., Ltd. and Samsung General Chemicals sold to Hanwha Group.
– Defunct ventures like Alpha Processor Inc. and S-LCD Corporation were dissolved.
– Joint ventures like Samsung Fine Chemicals and Samsung Securities have been successful.
– Partially owned companies include stakes in Brazilian shipbuilder Atlântico Sul and Gorilla Glass maker Corning.

Samsung (Wikipedia)

Samsung Group (Korean삼성; RRsamseong [samsʌŋ]; stylized as SΛMSUNG) is a South Korean multinational manufacturing conglomerate headquartered in Samsung Digital City, Suwon, South Korea. It comprises numerous affiliated businesses, most of them united under the Samsung brand, and is the largest South Korean chaebol (business conglomerate). As of 2020, Samsung has the eighth-highest global brand value.

Samsung Group
Native name
Company typePrivate
Founded1 March 1938; 86 years ago (1938-03-01) in Daegu, Japanese Korea
FounderLee Byung-chul
HeadquartersSamsung Digital City, ,
Area served
Key people
Lee Jae-yong (chairman)
ProductsClothing, automotive, chemicals, consumer electronics, electronic components, medical equipment, semiconductors, solid-state drives, DRAM, flash memory, ships, telecommunications equipment, home appliances
ServicesAdvertising, construction, entertainment, financial services, hospitality, information and communications technology, medical and health care services, retail, shipbuilding, semiconductor foundry
SubsidiariesCheil Worldwide
Samsung Asset Management
Samsung Biologics
Samsung C&T Corporation
Samsung Electro-Mechanics
Samsung Electronics
Samsung Engineering
Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance
Samsung Heavy Industries
Samsung Life Insurance
Samsung SDI
Samsung SDS
Samsung Securities
Revised RomanizationSamseong

Samsung was founded by Lee Byung-chul in 1938 as a trading company. Over the next three decades, the group diversified into areas including food processing, textiles, insurance, securities, and retail. Samsung entered the electronics industry in the late 1960s and the construction and shipbuilding industries in the mid-1970s; these areas would drive its subsequent growth. Following Lee's death in 1987, Samsung was separated into five business groups – Samsung Group, Shinsegae Group, CJ Group and Hansol Group, and JoongAng Group.

Notable Samsung industrial affiliates include Samsung Electronics (the world's largest information technology company, consumer electronics maker and chipmaker measured by 2017 revenues), Samsung Heavy Industries (the world's second largest shipbuilder measured by 2010 revenues), and Samsung Engineering and Samsung C&T Corporation (respectively the world's 13th and 36th largest construction companies). Other notable subsidiaries include Samsung Life Insurance (the world's 14th largest life insurance company), Samsung Everland (operator of Everland Resort, the oldest theme park in South Korea) and Cheil Worldwide (the world's 15th largest advertising agency, as measured by 2012 revenues).

« Back to Glossary Index