Above: How BIG is Samsung?
So how big is Samsung? The answer may surprise you.
Samsung is a South Korean multinational conglomerate headquartered in South Korea. Samsung comprises numerous subsidiaries and affiliated businesses, most of them united under the Samsung brand, and is the largest South Korean chaebol (business conglomerate).
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 1960’s and the construction and ship building industries in the mid-1970’s; these areas would drive its subsequent growth. Following the death of Samsung founder Lee Byung-chul in 1987, Samsung has increasingly globalized its activities and dominance in electronics, particularly mobile phones and semiconductors, which have become its most important source of income.
Notable Samsung industrial subsidiaries include Samsung Electronics (one of the world’s largest information technology companies measured by revenues and market value), Samsung Heavy Industries (one of the world’s largest ship builders measured by revenues), and Samsung Engineering and Samsung C&T (two of the world’s largest construction companies). Other notable Samsung subsidiaries include Samsung Life Insurance (one of the world’s largest life insurance companies), Samsung Everland (operator of Everland Resort, the oldest theme park in South Korea), and Cheil Worldwide (one of the world’s largest advertising agencies measured by revenues).
Samsung 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”. Samsung affiliate companies produce around a fifth of South Korea’s total exports, and Samsung’s revenue was equal to 17% of South Korea’s $1,000+ billion GDP.