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Samsung Group
Samsung Logo.svg
Type Public (Korean: 삼성그룹)
Industry Conglomerate
Founded 1938
Founder(s) Lee Byung-chull
Headquarters Samsung Town, Seoul, South Korea
Area served Worldwide
Key people Lee Kun-hee (Chairman and CEO)
Lee Soo-bin (President, CEO of Samsung Life Insurance)[1]
Products Consumer electronics, shipbuilding, telecom, engineering and construction, financial services, chemicals, retail, heavy industries, entertainment, apparel, medical services
Revenue US$ 220.1 billion (2010)[2]
Net income US$ 21.2 billion (2010)[2]
Total assets US$ 343.7 billion (2010)[2]
Total equity US$ 141.1 billion (2010)[2]
Employees 344,000 (2010)[2]
Subsidiaries Samsung Electronics
Samsung Life Insurance
Samsung Heavy Industries
Samsung C&T etc.
This article contains Korean text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Hangul or Hanja.

The Samsung Group (Korean: 삼성그룹 / Samseong Geurup / sam’sʌŋ gɯ’ɾup) is the second largest South Korean company, followed by LG, headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul, South Korea. It comprises numerous international affiliated businesses, most of them united under the Samsung brand.

Notable Samsung Group industrial subsidiaries include Samsung Electronics (the world’s second largest information technology company measured by 2010 revenues),[3][4] Samsung Heavy Industries (the world’s second-largest shipbuilder measured by 2010 revenues),[5] and Samsung Engineering and Samsung C&T (respectively the world’s 35th- and 72nd-largest construction companies).[6] Other notable subsidiaries include Samsung Life Insurance (the world’s 14th-largest insurance company),[7] Samsung Securities, Samsung SDS, Samsung Everland (the oldest theme park in South Korea),[8] Cheil Worldwide (the world’s 19th-largest advertising agency measured by 2010 revenues)[9][10] and Shilla Hotel.

Samsung Group produces around a fifth of South Korea’s total exports[11] and its revenues are larger than many countries’ GDP; in 2006, it would have been the world’s 35th-largest economy.[12] In many South Korean industries Samsung Group enjoys a monopoly position.[citation needed] The company has a powerful influence on South Korea’s economic development, politics, media and culture, and has been a major driving force behind the “Miracle on the Han River“. Many businesses today use Samsung’s international success as a role model.[citation needed]



[edit] Etymology

According to the founder of Samsung Group, the meaning of the Korean hanja word Samsung () is “tristar” or “three stars”. The word “three” represents something “big, numerous and powerful”; the “stars” mean eternity.[13]

[edit] History

The building of Samsung Sanghoe in Daegu in the 1930s

In 1938,[14] Lee Byung-chull (1910–1987) of a large landowning family in the Uiryeong county came to the nearby Daegu city and founded Samsung Sanghoe (삼성상회), a small trading company with forty employees located in Su-dong (now Ingyo-dong). It dealt in groceries produced in and around the city and produced noodles itself. The company prospered and Lee moved its head office to Seoul in 1947. When the Korean War broke out, however, he was forced to leave Seoul and started a sugar refinery in Busan as a name of Cheil Jedang. After the war, in 1954, Lee founded Cheil Mojik and built the plant in Chimsan-dong, Daegu. It was the largest woolen mill ever in the country and the company took on an aspect of a major company.

Samsung diversified into many areas and Lee sought to establish Samsung as an industry leader in a wide range of enterprises, moving into businesses such as insurance, securities, and retail. Lee placed great importance on industrialization, and focused his economic development strategy on a handful of large domestic conglomerates, protecting them from competition and assisting them financially. He later banned several foreign companies from selling consumer electronics in South Korea in order to protect Samsung from foreign competition.[citation needed]

In the late 1960s, Samsung Group entered into the electronics industry. It formed several electronics-related divisions, such as Samsung Electronics Devices Co., Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., Samsung Corning Co., and Samsung Semiconductor & Telecommunications Co., and made the facility in Suwon. Its first product was a black-and-white television set. In 1980, the company acquired Hanguk Jeonja Tongsin in Gumi, and started to build telecommunication devices. Its early products were switchboards. The facility were developed into the telephone and fax manufacturing systems and became the centre of Samsung’s mobile phone manufacturing. They have produced over 800 million mobile phones to date.[15] The company grouped them together under Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. in the 1980s.

View of the Samsung logo inside the Time Warner Center in New York City.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Samsung Electronics invested heavily in research and development, investments that were pivotal in pushing the company to the forefront of the global electronics industry. In 1982, it built a television assembly plant in Portugal; in 1984, a plant in New York; in 1985, a plant in Tokyo; in 1987, a facility in England; and another facility in Austin in 1996. In total, Samsung has invested about $5.6 billion in the Austin location – by far the largest foreign investment in Texas and one of the largest single foreign investments in the United States. The new investment will bring the total Samsung investment in Austin to more than $9 billion.[16]

Samsung started to rise as an international corporation in the 1990s. Samsung’s construction branch was awarded a contract to build one of the two Petronas Towers in Malaysia, Taipei 101 in Taiwan and the Burj Khalifa in United Arab Emirates.[17] In 1993, Lee Kun-hee sold off ten of Samsung Group’s subsidiaries, downsized the company, and merged other operations to concentrate on three industries: electronics, engineering, and chemicals. In 1996, the Samsung Group reacquired the Sungkyunkwan University foundation.

Compared to other major Korean companies, Samsung survived the 1997 Asian financial crisis relatively unharmed. However, Samsung Motor was sold to Renault at a significant loss. As of 2010[update], Renault Samsung is 80.1 percent owned by Renault and 19.9 percent owned by Samsung. Additionally, Samsung manufactured a range of aircraft from the 1980s to 1990s. The company was founded in 1999 as Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), the result of merger between then three domestic major aerospace divisions of Samsung Aerospace, Daewoo Heavy Industries, and Hyundai Space and Aircraft Company. However, Samsung still manufactures aircraft engines and gas turbines. [18] Samsung Techwin has been the sole supplier of a combustor module of the Trent 900 engine of the Rolls-Royce Airbus A380-The largest passenger airliner in the world- since 2001.[19] Samsung Techwin of Korea is a revenue-sharing participant in the Boeing‘s 787 Dreamliner GEnx engine program.[20]

Samsung Group headquarters at Samsung Town, Seoul.

Samsung became the largest producer of memory chips in the world in 1992, and is the world’s second-largest chipmaker after Intel (see Worldwide Top 20 Semiconductor Market Share Ranking Year by Year).[21] In 1995, it built its first liquid-crystal display screen. Ten years later, Samsung grew to be the world’s largest manufacturer of liquid-crystal display panels. Sony, which had not invested in large-size TFT-LCDs, contacted Samsung to cooperate, and, in 2006, S-LCD was established as a joint venture between Samsung and Sony in order to provide a stable supply of LCD panels for both manufacturers. S-LCD is owned by Samsung (50% plus 1 share) and Sony (50% minus 1 share) and operates its factories and facilities in Tangjung, South Korea.

Samsung Electronics overtook Sony as one of the world’s most popular consumer electronics brands in 2004 and 2005, and is now ranked #19 in the world overall.[22] In Q3 of 2011, Samsung has overtaken Apple to become the World’s Largest Smartphone maker.[23] SCTV and Indosiar are subsidiary of Surya Citra Media that owned by Samsung. In 2011, SCTV and Indosiar will merger and given stake by Samsung.[citation needed]

According to the FTC(Fair Trade Commission) data as of April 1, 2011, the number of Samsung Group’s affiliates increased 32.1 percent to 78 from 59 in 2008.[24]
Samsung has also been listed among the top 10 most trusted brands in India by The Brand Trust Report[25] India Study.

  • Number of unlisted companies within the group : 59
  • Number of listed companies within the group : 19(KOSPI-listed firms)
Company Symbol Company Symbol
SAMSUNG Corporation 000830‎ Shilla Hotels and Resorts 008770
SAMSUNG Securities 016360‎ SAMSUNG Fine Chemicals 004000‎
SAMSUNG SDI 006400‎ SI Corporation 012750‎
SAMSUNG Electro-Mechanics 009150‎ SAMSUNG Fire & Marine Insurance 000810‎
SAMSUNG Engineering 028050‎ SAMSUNG Electronics 005930
SAMSUNG Techwin 012450‎ Samsung Life Insurance 032830‎
Cheil Industries 001300‎ SAMSUNG Card 029780‎
SAMSUNG Heavy Industries 010140‎ Cheil Worldwide 030000‎
Imarket Korea 122900‎ Credu 067280‎
Ace Digitech 036550‎

[edit] Veiled revenue

Consolidated revenue is the sum of the revenues perceived by the company and the revenues from its subsidiaries all together. In FY 2009, Samsung Group had a revenue of 220 trillion KRW ($$172.5 billion), financial results are based on parent companies. In FY 2010, Samsung reported 280 trillion KRW($258 billion) worth of revenue, and 30 trillion KRW($27.6 billion) profit.(* Based upon a KRW=USD exchange rate of 1,084.5KRW per USD, the spot rate as of 19 August 2011 (2011 -08-19)[update])[26] However, they also do not contain the revenues of overseas subsidiaries, and no one knows about real revenues.[27]

[edit] Partitions of Samsung Group

First partition (1966)

In 1948, Cho Hong-jai (the Hyosung group’s founder) jointly invested in a new company called Samsung Mulsan Gongsa (삼성물산공사), or the Samsung Trading Corporation, with the Samsung Group founder Lee Byung-chull. The trading firm grew to become the present-day Samsung C&T Corporation. But after some years Cho and Lee parted ways due to some differences in management between the two men. He wanted to get up to a 30% group share. After settlement, Samsung Group was separated into Samsung Group and Hyosung Group, Hankook Tire …etc.[28][29]

Pan-samsung2-error corrections.png

Second partition (1990s)

After founder’s death, Samsung Group was separated into Samsung Group and three other conglomerates – Shinsegae Group, CJ Group and Hansol Group.[30] Shinsegae (discount store, department store) was originally part of Samsung Group, separated in the 1990s from the Samsung Group along with CJ Group (Food/Chemicals/Entertainment/logistics) and the Hansol Group (Paper/Telecom). The brand-new Shinsengae Centumcity Department Store is now officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the largest department store in the world.[31] Today these separated groups are independent and they are not part of or connected to the Samsung Group.[32] One Hansol Group representative said, “Only people ignorant of the laws governing the business world could believe something so absurd,” adding, “When Hansol separated from the Samsung Group in 1991, it severed all payment guarantees and share-holding ties with Samsung affiliates.” One Hansol Group source asserted, “Hansol, Shinsegae, and CJ have been under independent management since their respective separations from the Samsung Group.” One Shinsegae Department Store executive director said, “Shinsegae has no payment guarantees associated with the Samsung Group.”[32]

[edit] Acquisitions

Samsung has been notoriously wary of such expansion since its unsuccessful purchase of companies in the late 1990s. Samsung, which has mainly focused on organic growth, has made no major acquisitions in past 10 years.

Rollei – Swiss watch battle
Samsung Techwin acquired a German camera-maker Rollei on 1995. Samsung (Rollei) used its optic expertise on the crystals of a new line of 100% Swiss-made watches, designed by a team of watchmakers at Nouvelle Piquerez S.A. in Bassequort, Switzerland. Rolex’s decision to fight Rollei on every front stemmed from the close resemblance between the two names and fears that its sales would suffer as a consequence. In the face of such a threat, the Geneva firm decided to confront. Rolex, this was also a demonstration of the Swiss watch industry’s determination to defend itself when an established brand is threatened. Rolex sees this front-line battle as vital for the entire Swiss watch industry. Rolex has succeeded in keeping Rollei out of the German market. On 11 March 1995 the Cologne District court prohibited the advertising and sale of Rollei watches on German territory.[33][34]
Fokker, a Dutch aircraft maker
Samsung lost a chance to revive its failed bid to take over Dutch aircraft maker Fokker when other airplane makers rejected its offer to form a consortium. The three proposed partners – Hyundai, Hanjin and Daewoo – have notified the South Korean government that they will not join Samsung Aerospace Industries Ltd.[35]
AST Research
Samsung bought AST (1994) and tried to break into North America,but the effort foundered.

Samsung was forced to close the California-based computer maker after a mass defection of research talent and a string of losses.[36]

FUBU clothing and apparel – a rare case of success
In 1992, Daymond John had started the company with a hat collection that was made in his house in the Queens area of New York City. To fund the company, John had to mortgage his house for $100,000. With his friends, namely J. Alexander Martin, Carl Brown, and Keith Perrin, half of his house was turned into the first factory of FUBU, while the other half remained as the living quarters. Along with the expansion of FUBU, Samsung, a Korean company, invested in FUBU in 1995.[37]
Lehman Brothers Holdings’ Asian operations
Samsung Securities was one of a handful of brokerages looking into Lehman Brothers Holdings. But Nomura Holdings has reportedly waved the biggest check to win its bid for Lehman Brothers Holdings’ Asian operations, beating out Samsung Securities, Standard Chartered, and Barclays.[38] Ironically, after few months Samsung Securities Co., Ltd. and City of London-based N M Rothschild & Sons (more commonly known simply as Rothschild) have agreed to form a strategic alliance in investment banking business. Two parties will jointly work on cross border mergers and acquisition deals.[39]
Grandis Inc. – memory developer
In July 2011, Samsung announced that it had acquired spin-transfer torque random access memory (MRAM) vendor Grandis Inc.[40] Grandis will become a part of Samsung’s R&D operations and will focus on development of next generation random-access memory.[41]

[edit] Products, customers and organizational structure

This section is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. You can help by converting this section to prose, if appropriate. Editing help is available. (October 2010)

[edit] Group divisions

Samsung SE170 road-rail excavator of Veli Hyyryläinen Oy in Muurame, Finland 2009

The world’s largest oil and gas project, Sakhalin II- Lunskoye platform under construction. The topside facilities of the LUN-A (Lunskoye) and PA-B (Piltun Astokhskoye) platforms are being built at the Samsung Heavy Industry shipyard in South Korea.[42]

SHI hosted the ambassadors of these three countries that had invested in the development of the sea oil field of Sakhalin. (British-Amec, Netherlands-Royal Dutch Shell, Russia-Gasprom) Warwick Morris, the British ambassador to Korea, Hans Heinsbroek, the Netherlands ambassador to Korea, and Charge dAffaires Alexander Timonin of Russia in Korea visited Samsung Heavy Industry’s (SHI) Geoje shipyard to see Piltun-B, the worlds largest crude oil and gas production platform, which the Korean shipbuilder had just completed.[43]

Electronics industries
Financial services
Chemical industries
Machinery and heavy industries
Engineering and construction
Retail and entertainment
Apparel and advertisement
Education and medical services
Trading and resource development
Food supplier and security services

[edit] Notable customers

Royal Dutch Shell
Samsung Heavy Industries will be the sole provider of liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage facilities worth up to US$50 billion to Royal Dutch Shell for the next 15 years.[44]


United Arab Emirates government
A consortium of South Korean firms – including Samsung, Korea Electric Power Corp and Hyundai – has won a deal worth 40 billion dollars to build nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates.[46]
Ontario government
The government of the Canadian province of Ontario signed off one of the world’s largest renewable energy projects, signing a $6.6bn deal that will result in 2,500 MW of new wind and solar energy capacity being built. Under the agreement a consortium – led by Samsung and the Korea Electric Power Corporation – will manage the development of 2,000 MW-worth of new wind farms and 500 MW of solar capacity, while also building a manufacturing supply chain in the province.[47]
Samsung’s key clients (Q1 2010)[48]
Rank/company Part description Buying (trillion KRW) Percent of total sales
1 Sony DRAM, NAND flash, LCD panels, etc… 1.28 3.7
2 Apple Inc AP (mobile processor), DRAM, NAND flash, etc… 0.9 2.6
3 Dell DRAM, flat-panels, lithium-ion batteries, etc… 0.87 2.5
4 HP DRAM, flat-panels, lithium-ion batteries, etc… 0.76 2.2
5 Verizon Communications Handsets, etc… 0.5 1.3
6 AT&T Handsets, etc… 0.5 1.3

[edit] Logo

The Samsung Byeolpyo noodles logo, used from late 1938 until replaced in 1950s.
The Samsung Group logo, used from late 1969 until replaced in 1979
The Samsung Group logo (“three stars”), used from late 1980 until replaced in 1992
The Samsung Electronics logo, used from late 1980 until replaced in 1992
Samsung’s current logo used since 1993.[49]

[edit] Sonic logo

Audio branding was produced by Musikvergnuegen and written by Walter Werzowa using the notes E♭, A♭, D♭, E♭ .[50][51]

[edit] Samsung Medical Center

The Samsung Group annually donates around $100 million to the Samsung Medical Center, their nonprofit medical organization.[52] The Samsung Medical Center (Korean: 삼성의료원) is composed of Samsung Seoul Hospital (Korean: 삼성서울병원), Kangbook Samsung Hospital (Korean: 강북삼성병원), Samsung Changwon Hospital (Korean: 삼성창원병원), Samsung Cancer Center (Korean:삼성암센터) and Samsung Life Sciences Research Center (Korean: 삼성생명과학연구소). Samsung Cancer Center located in Seoul, is the largest cancer center in Asia.[53] Samsung Medical Center and Pfizer to Conduct Joint Research to Identify Genomic Mechanisms Responsible for Clinical Outcomes in Hepatocellular Carcinoma.[54]

[edit] Olympics

Samsung is hoping their role in the London 2012 Olympic Games will provide a “golden moment” for the company’s UK reputation, according to Olympic news outlet Around the Rings. Vice President Gyehyun Kwon told ATR that “double digit gains in U.K. consumer awareness are possible” through Samsung’s partnership with London 2012.

Samsung was instrumental in bringing the 2018 Winter Olympics to Pyeongchang. In December 2009, the former chairman of Samsung, Lee Kun-hee, was pardoned in order that he could return to the International Olympics Committee and help South Korea bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. He had previously been convicted of tax evasion in 2008 and had been part of two failed bids to bring the Olympics to South Korea. [55]

During this bid, Lee Kun-hee and figure skating gold medalist Kim Yuna lobbied heavily for support; it was thought that Lee’s influence would help to secure the bid. On July 6 2011, it was announced that Pyeongchang would be the location of the 2018 Winter Games. [56] Samsung C&T Corporation will be among the top tier of firms competing for construction projects for the games. [57]

[edit] See also

Economy of South Korea
South Korea's GDP (PPP) growth from 1911 to 2008.png
Miracle on the Han River
1997 financial crisis
List of companies · Chaebol
Samsung (Chaebol)
Hyundai (Chaebol)
LG (Chaebol) · SK (Chaebol)
Currency · Communications
Tourism · Transportation
Real estate · Financial services
Nuclear power
Regions by GDP per capita
International rankings
Related topics
Science and technology · Cities
v · d · e

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