Samsung is a “chaebol” – one of the family-run conglomerates that dominate South Korean society. Almost Mafia-like in their obsessive secrecy and reach, chaebols have influence in most markets and industries in the country and wield huge political influence
Lee Kun-hee’s children hold key positions in the company. His son, Lee Jae-yong, is President and Chief Operating Officer of Samsung Electronics. Lee Boo-jin, his eldest daughter, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Hotel Shilla, a luxury hotel chain, and President of Samsung Everland, a theme park and resort operator that acts as de facto holding company for the entire conglomerate.
Further branches of his family tree are inextricably tied to the business. His siblings and their children are executives at major Korean groups. One nephew is chairman of CJ Group, a holding company with interests in food, drink and entertainment.
Another runs Saehan Media, one of Korea’s largest blank media producers, while his older sister owns Hansol Group, the company’s biggest paper manufacturer which also holds assets in electronics and communications. Another of his sisters is married to the former chairman of LG and his youngest sister heads up Shinsegae Group, the largest consumer retailer in Korea.
The South looks better, thanks to the success consumer technology and semiconductors has brought, it but the grip of the chaebols is pernicious and corruption lies beneath every facet of Korean society.
You’re welcome to love Android and hate Apple. Just don’t be fooled into thinking Samsung are the good guys."
- great writing. » Samsung: power, corruption and lies – Mic Wright – The Kernel