|Founded||1 March 1938Daegu, Japanese Koreain|
|Headquarters||40th floor Samsung Electronics Building, 11, Seocho-daero 74-gil,|
|Products||Apparel, automotive, chemicals, consumer electronics, electronic components, medical equipment, semiconductors, solid state drives, DRAM, ships, telecommunications equipment, home appliances|
|Services||Advertising, construction, entertainment, financial services, hospitality, information and communications technology, medical and health care services, retail, shipbuilding|
|Revenue||US$305 billion (2014)|
|US$22.1 billion (2014)|
|Total assets||US$529.5 billion (2014)|
|Total equity||US$231.2 billion (2014)|
Number of employees
Samsung C&T Corporation
Samsung Heavy Industries
Samsung Life Insurance
Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance
Samsung (styled as SΛMSUNG) (Hangul: 삼성; Hanja: 三星; Korean pronunciation: [samsʌŋ]; means "tristar" in English) is a South Korean multinational conglomerate headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul. It comprises numerous 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 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 four business groups – Samsung Group, Shinsegae Group, CJ Group and Hansol Group. Since 1990, Samsung has increasingly globalised its activities and electronics; in particular, its mobile phones and semiconductors have become its most important source of income. As of 2017, Samsung has the 6th highest global brand value.
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 2nd largest shipbuilder measured by 2010 revenues), and Samsung Engineering and Samsung C&T (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 measured by 2012 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". Its affiliate companies produce around a fifth of South Korea's total exports. Samsung's revenue was equal to 17% of South Korea's $1,082 billion GDP.
In 1938, Lee Byung-chul (1910–1987) of a large landowning family in the Uiryeong county moved to nearby Daegu city and founded Samsung Sanghoe (삼성상회, 三星商會). Samsung started out as a small trading company with forty employees located in Su-dong (now Ingyo-dong). It dealt in dried-fish, locally-grown groceries and noodles. The company prospered and Lee moved its head office to Seoul in 1947. When the Korean War broke out, he was forced to leave Seoul. He started a sugar refinery in Busan named Cheil Jedang. In 1954, Lee founded Cheil Mojik and built the plant in Chimsan-dong, Daegu. It was the largest woollen mill ever in the country.
Samsung diversified into many different areas. Lee sought to establish Samsung as leader in a wide range of industries. Samsung moved into lines of business such as insurance, securities and retail.
In 1947, Cho Hong-jai, the Hyosung group's founder, jointly invested in a new company called Samsung Mulsan Gongsa, or the Samsung Trading Corporation, with the Samsung's founder Lee Byung-chull. The trading firm grew to become the present-day Samsung C&T Corporation. After a few years, Cho and Lee separated due to differences in management style. Cho wanted a 30 equity share. Samsung Group was separated into Samsung Group and Hyosung Group, Hankook Tire and other businesses.
In the late 1960s, Samsung Group entered the electronics industry. It formed several electronics-related divisions, such as Samsung Electronics Devices, Samsung Electro-Mechanics, Samsung Corning and Samsung Semiconductor & Telecommunications, and made the facility in Suwon. Its first product was a black-and-white television set.
In 1980, Samsung acquired the Gumi-based Hanguk Jeonja Tongsin and entered telecommunications hardware. Its early products were switchboards. The facility was developed into the telephone and fax manufacturing systems and became the center of Samsung's mobile phone manufacturing. They have produced over 800 million mobile phones to date. The company grouped them together under Samsung Electronics in the 1980s.
After Lee, the founder's death in 1987, Samsung Group was separated into four business groups—Samsung Group, Shinsegae Group, CJ Group and the Hansol Group. 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). Today these separated groups are independent and they are not part of or connected to the Samsung Group. 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".
In 1980s, Samsung Electronics began to invest 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, Texas, in 1996. As of 2012, Samsung has invested more than US$13,000,000,000 in the Austin facility, which operates under the name Samsung Austin Semiconductor. This makes the Austin location the largest foreign investment in Texas and one of the largest single foreign investments in the United States.
Samsung started to rise as an international corporation in the 1990s. Samsung's construction branch was awarded contracts to build one of the two Petronas Towers in Malaysia, Taipei 101 in Taiwan and the Burj Khalifa in United Arab Emirates. 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.
Samsung became the world's largest producer of memory chips in 1992 and is the world's second-largest chipmaker after Intel (see Worldwide Top 20 Semiconductor Market Share Ranking Year by Year). In 1995, it created 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 was owned by Samsung (50% plus one share) and Sony (50% minus one share) and operates its factories and facilities in Tangjung, South Korea. As of 26 December 2011, it was announced that Samsung had acquired the stake of Sony in this joint venture.
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 a 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.
In 2010, Samsung announced a ten-year growth strategy centered around five businesses. One of these businesses was to be focused on biopharmaceuticals, to which has committed ₩2,100,000,000,000.
On 24 August 2012, nine American jurors ruled that Samsung Electronics had to pay Apple $1.05 billion in damages for violating six of its patents on smartphone technology. The award was still less than the $2.5 billion requested by Apple. The decision also ruled that Apple did not violate five Samsung patents cited in the case. Samsung decried the decision saying that the move could harm innovation in the sector. It also followed a South Korean ruling stating that both companies were guilty of infringing on each other's intellectual property. In first trading after the ruling, Samsung shares on the Kospi index fell 7.7%, the largest fall since 24 October 2008, to 1,177,000 Korean won. Apple then sought to ban the sales of eight Samsung phones (Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy S2 AT&T, Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, Galaxy S2 T-Mobile, Galaxy S2 Epic 4G, Galaxy S Showcase, Droid Charge and Galaxy Prevail) in the United States which has been denied by the court.
In 2015, Samsung has been granted more U.S. patents than any other company - including IBM, Google, Sony, Microsoft and Apple. The company received 7,679 utility patents through 11 December.
On 2 August 2016, Samsung Electronics unveiled the Galaxy Note7 smartphone, which went on sale on 19 August 2016. However, in early September 2016, Samsung suspended sales of the phone and announced an informal recall. This occurred after some units of the phones had batteries with a defect that caused them to produce excessive heat, leading to fires and explosions. Samsung replaced the recalled units of the phones with a new version; however, it was later discovered that the new version of the Galaxy Note 7 also had the battery defect. Samsung recalled all Galaxy Note7 smartphones worldwide on 10 October 2016, and permanently ended production of the phone the following day.
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Samsung has made the following acquisitions and attempted acquisitions:
Samsung Techwin was listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 012450), with its principal activities being the development and manufacture of surveillance, aeronautics, optoelectronics, automations and weapons technology. It was announced to be sold to Hanwha Group in December 2014 and the take-over completed in June 2015.
Samsung Thales Co., Ltd. (until 2001 known as Samsung Thomson-CSF Co., Ltd.) was a joint venture between Samsung Techwin and the France-based aerospace and defence company Thales. It was established in 1978 and is based in Seoul. Samsung's involvement was passed on to Hanwha Group as part of the Techwin transaction.
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Samsung Total was a 50:50 joint venture between Samsung and the France-based oil group Total S.A. (more specifically Samsung General Chemicals and Total Petrochemicals). Samsung's role was passed on to Hanwha Group when the latter acquired Samsung General Chemicals.
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In FY 2009, Samsung reported consolidated revenues of 220 trillion KRW ($172.5 billion). In FY 2010, Samsung reported consolidated revenues of 280 trillion KRW ($258 billion), and profits of 30 trillion KRW ($27.6 billion) (based upon a KRW-USD exchange rate of 1,084.5 KRW per USD, the spot rate as of 19 August 2011[update]). These amounts do not include the revenues from all of Samsung's subsidiaries based outside South Korea.
Ace Digitech is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 036550).
Cheil Worldwide is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 030000).
Credu is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 067280).
Imarket Korea is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 122900).
Samsung Card is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 029780).
Samsung SDS is a multinational IT Service company headquartered in Seoul. It was founded in March 1985. Its principal activity is the providing IT system(ERP, IT Infrastructure, IT Consulting, IT Outsourcing, Data Center). Samsung SDS is the Korea's largest IT service company. It achieved total revenues of 6,105.9 billion won (US$5.71 billion) in 2012.
Samsung C&T Corporation is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (000830).
Samsung Electro-Mechanics, established in 1973 as a manufacturer of key electronic components, is headquartered in Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. It is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 009150).
Samsung Electronics is a multinational electronics and information technology company headquartered in Suwon and the flagship company of the Samsung Group. Its products include air conditioners, computers, digital televisions, liquid crystal displays (including thin film transistors (TFTs) and active-matrix organic light-emitting diodes (AMOLEDs)), mobile phones, monitors, printers, refrigerators, semiconductors and telecommunications networking equipment. It is the world's largest mobile phone maker by unit sales in the first quarter of 2012, with a global market share of 25.4%. It is also the world's second-largest semiconductor maker by 2011 revenues (after Intel).
Samsung Electronics is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 005930).
Samsung Engineering is a multinational construction company headquartered in Seoul. It was founded in January 1969. Its principal activity is the construction of oil refining plants; upstream oil and gas facilities; petrochemical plants and gas plants; steel making plants; power plants; water treatment facilities; and other infrastructure. It achieved total revenues of 9,298.2 billion won (US$8.06 billion) in 2011.
Samsung Engineering is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 02803450).
Samsung Everland covers the three main sectors of Environment & Asset, Food Culture and Resort.
Samsung Fine Chemicals is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 004000).
Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance is a multinational general insurance company headquartered in Seoul. It was founded in January 1952 as Korea Anbo Fire and Marine Insurance and was renamed Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance in December 1993. Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance offers services including accident insurance, automobile insurance, casualty insurance, fire insurance, liability insurance, marine insurance, personal pensions and loans. As of March 2011 it had operations in 10 countries and 6.5 million customers. Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance had a total premium income of $11.7 billion in 2011 and total assets of $28.81 billion on 31 March 2011. It is the largest provider of general insurance in South Korea. Samsung Fire has been listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange since 1975 (number 000810).
Samsung Heavy Industries is a shipbuilding and engineering company headquartered in Seoul. It was founded in August 1974. Its principal products are bulk carriers, container vessels, crude oil tankers, cruisers, passenger ferries, material handling equipment steel and bridge structures. It achieved total revenues of 13,358.6 billion won in 2011 and is the world's second-largest shipbuilder by revenues (after Hyundai Heavy Industries).
Samsung Heavy Industries is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 010140).
Samsung Life Insurance Co., Ltd. is a multinational life insurance company headquartered in Seoul. It was founded in March 1957 as Dongbang Life Insurance and became an affiliate of the Samsung Group in July 1963. Samsung Life's principal activity is the provision of individual life insurance and annuity products and services. As of December 2011 it had operations in seven countries, 8.08 million customers and 5,975 employees. Samsung Life had total sales of 22,717 billion won in 2011 and total assets of 161,072 billion won at 31 December 2011. It is the largest provider of life insurance in South Korea.
Samsung Life Insurance is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 032830)
Samsung Machine Tools of America is a national distributor of machines in the United States. Samsung GM Machine Tools is the head office of China, It is an SMEC Legal incorporated company.
The Samsung Medical Center was founded on 9 November 1994, under the philosophy of "contributing to improving the nation's health through the best medical service, advanced medical research and development of outstanding medical personnel". The Samsung Medical Center consists of a hospital and a cancer center. The hospital is located in an intelligent building with floor space of more than 200,000 square meters and 20 floors above ground and 5 floors underground, housing 40 departments, 10 specialist centers, 120 special clinics and 1,306 beds.
The 655-bed Cancer Center has 11 floors above ground and 8 floors underground, with floor space of over 100,000 square meters. SMC is a tertiary hospital manned by approximately 7,400 staff including over 1,200 doctors and 2,300 nurses. Since its foundation, the Samsung Medical Center has successfully incorporated and developed an advanced model with the motto of becoming a "patient-centered hospital", a new concept in Korea.
Samsung SDI is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 006400). On 5 December 2012, the European Union's antitrust regulator fined Samsung SDI and several other major companies for fixing prices of TV cathode-ray tubes in two cartels lasting nearly a decade. SSDI also builds lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles such as the BMW i3, and acquired Magna Steyr's battery plant near Graz in 2015. SSDI began using the "21700" cell format in August 2015. Samsung plans to convert its factory in Göd, Hungary to supply 50,000 cars per year.
Samsung Securities is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 016360).
Samtron was a subsidiary of Samsung until 1999 when it became independent. After that, it continued to make computer monitors and plasma displays until 2003, Samtron became Samsung when Samtron was a brand. In 2003 the website redirected to Samsung.
Hotel Shilla (also known as "The Shilla") opened in March 1979, following the intention of the late Lee Byung-chull, the founder of the Samsung Group. Hosting numerous state visits and international events, it has played the role of locomotive for the service industry in Korea with pride and responsibility as "the face representing the Samsung Group" and "the hotel representing Korea". Hotel Shilla maintains elegance and a tradition of winning guests' hearts with the aim of becoming "the best hospitality company". By joining LHW, it is on par with the most luxurious hotels in the world. Meanwhile, it has added modernistic design elements on top of the roof called tradition, thus going through changes to make itself a premium lifestyle space. In addition, with its know-how as a service company in the background, it started a duty-free shop business, and has built its image as the best global distribution company. Also, it is expanding its business into commissioned management of fitness facilities with five-star hotels in Korea and abroad as well as into the restaurant business. Hotel Shilla promises to be a globally prestigious hospitality company that offers the best value for money by making creative innovations and continuously taking on challenges.
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Shilla Hotels and Resorts is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 008770).
S-1 was founded as Korea's first specialized security business in 1997 and has maintained its position at the top of industry with the consistent willingness to take on challenges. S1 Corporation is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 012750).
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State-run Korea Agro-Fisheries Trade Corp. set up the venture, aT Grain Co., in Chicago, with three other South Korean companies, Korea Agro-Fisheries owns 55 percent of aT Grain, while Samsung C&T Corp, Hanjin Transportation Co. and STX Corporation each hold 15 percent.
Brooks Automation Asia Co., Ltd. is a joint venture between Brooks Automation (70%) and Samsung (30%) which was established in 1999. The venture locally manufactures and configure vacuum wafer handling platforms and 300mm Front-Opening Unified Pod (FOUP) load port modules, and designs, manufactures and configures atmospheric loading systems for flat panel displays.
Samsung Biologics will be jointly owned. Samsung Electronics Co. and Samsung Everland Inc. will each own a 40 percent stake in the venture, with Samsung C&T Corp. and Durham, North Carolina-based Quintiles each holding 10 percent. It will contract-make medicines made from living cells, and Samsung Group plans to expand into producing copies of biologics including Rituxan, the leukemia and lymphoma treatment sold by Roche Holding AG and Biogen Idec Inc.
Samsung Bioepis is a joint venture between Samsung Biologics (85%) and the U.S.-based Biogen Idec (15%). In 2014, Biogen Idec agreed to commercialize future anti-TNF biosimilar products in Europe through Samsung Bioepis.
Samsung BP Chemicals, based in Ulsan, is a 49:51 joint venture between Samsung and the UK-based BP, which was established in 1989 to produce and supply high-value-added chemical products. Its products are used in rechargeable batteries and liquid crystal displays.
Samsung Corning Precision Glass is a joint venture between Samsung and Corning, which was established in 1973 to manufacture and market cathode ray tube glass for black and white televisions. The company's first LCD glass substrate manufacturing facility opened in Gumi, South Korea, in 1996.
Samsung Sumitomo LED Materials is a Korea-based joint venture between Samsung LED Co., Ltd., an LED maker based in Suwon, Korea-based and the Japan-based Sumitomo Chemical. The JV will carry out research and development, manufacturing and sales of sapphire substrates for LEDs.
SB LiMotive is a 50:50 joint company of Robert Bosch GmbH (commonly known as Bosch) and Samsung SDI founded in June 2008. The joint venture develops and manufactures lithium-ion batteries for use in hybrid-, plug-in hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles.
Sermatech Korea owns 51% of its stock, while Samsung owns the remaining 49%. The U.S. firm Sermatech International, for a business specializing in aircraft construction processes such as special welding and brazing.
Siam Samsung Life Insurance: Samsung Life Insurance holds a 37% stake while the Saha Group also has a 37.5% stake in the joint venture, with the remaining 25% owned by Thanachart Bank.
SMP Ltd. is a joint venture between Samsung Fine Chemicals and MEMC. MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. and an affiliate of Korean conglomerate Samsung are forming a joint venture to build a polysilicon plant.
Stemco is a joint venture established between Samsung Electro-Mechanics and Toray Industries in 1995.
Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology Corporation (TSST) is joint venture between Samsung Electronics and Toshiba of Japan which specialises in optical disc drive manufacturing. TSST was formed in 2004, and Toshiba owns 51% of its stock, while Samsung owns the remaining 49%.
In 1998, Samsung created a U.S. joint venture with Compaq—called Alpha Processor Inc. (API)--to help it enter the high-end processor market. The venture was also aimed at expanding Samsung's non-memory chip business by fabricating Alpha processors. At the time, Samsung and Compaq invested $500 million in Alpha Processor.
Global Steel Exchange was a joint venture formed in 2000 between Samsung, the U.S.-based Cargill, the Switzerland-based Duferco Group, and the Luxembourg-based Tradearbed (now part of the ArcelorMittal), to handle their online buying and selling of steel.
S-LCD Corporation was a joint venture between Samsung Electronics (50% plus one share) and the Japan-based Sony Corporation (50% minus one share) which was established in April 2004. On 26 December 2011, Samsung Electronics announced that it would acquire all of Sony's shares in the venture.
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Samsung Heavy Industries owns 10% of the Brazilian shipbuilder Atlântico Sul, whose Atlântico Sul Shipyard is the largest shipyard in South America. The Joao Candido, Brazil's largest ship, was built by Atlântico Sul with technology licensed by Samsung Heavy Industries. The companies have a technical assistance agreement through which industrial design, vessel engineering and other know-how is being transferred to Atlântico Sul.
Samsung Heavy Industries currently holds a 14.1% stake in Doosan Engine, making it the second-largest shareholder.
Samsung Techwin currently holds a 10% stake in Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI). Other major shareholders include the state-owned Korea Finance Corporation (26.75%), Hyundai Motor (10%) and Doosan (10%).
Samsung currently owns 19.9% of the automobile manufacturer Renault Samsung Motors.
Samsung currently owns 9.6% of Seagate Technology, making it the second-largest shareholder. Under a shareholder agreement, Samsung has the right to nominate an executive to Seagate's Board of Directors.
Taylor Energy is an independent American oil company that drills in the Gulf of Mexico based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Samsung Oil & Gas USA Corp., subsidiaries of Samsung, currently owns 20% of Taylor Energy.
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Major clients of Samsung include:
Samsung has an audio logo, which consists of the notes E♭, A♭, D♭, E♭; after the initial E♭ tone it is up a perfect fourth to A♭, down a perfect fifth to D♭, then up a major second to return to the initial E♭ tone. The audio logo was produced by Musikvergnuegen and written by Walter Werzowa.
In July 2016, Samsung unveiled its SamsungOne font, a typeface that hopes to give a consistent and universal visual identity to the wide range of Samsung products. SamsungOne was designed to be used across Samsung's diverse device portfolio, with a focus on legibility for everything from smaller devices like smartphones to larger connected TVs or refrigerators, as well as Samsung marketing and advertisements. The font family supports 400 different languages through over 25,000 characters.
Samsung donates around US$100 million per annum to the Samsung Medical Center, a non-profit healthcare provider founded by the group in 1994. Samsung Medical Center incorporates Samsung Seoul Hospital, Kangbook Samsung Hospital, Samsung Changwon Hospital, Samsung Cancer Center and Samsung Life Sciences Research Center. The Samsung Cancer Center, located in Seoul, is the largest cancer center in Asia.
Samsung Medical Center and pharmaceutical multinational Pfizer have agreed to collaborate on research to identify the genomic mechanisms responsible for clinical outcomes in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Samsung Electronics spent an estimated $14 billion (U.S.) on advertising and marketing in 2013. At 5.4% of annual revenue, this is a larger proportion than any of the world's top-20 companies by sales (Apple spent 0.6% and General Motors spent 3.5%). Samsung became the world's biggest advertiser in 2012, spending $4.3 billion, compared to Apple's $1 billion. Samsung's global brand value of $39.6 billion is less than half that of Apple.
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In 2007, former Samsung chief lawyer Kim Yong Chul claimed that he was involved in bribing and fabricating evidence on behalf of the group's chairman Lee Kun-hee and the company. Kim said that Samsung lawyers trained executives to serve as scapegoats in a "fabricated scenario" to protect Lee, even though those executives were not involved. Kim also told the media that he was "sidelined" by Samsung after he refused to pay a $3.3 million bribe to the U.S. Federal District Court judge presiding over a case where two of their executives were found guilty on charges related to memory chip price fixing. Kim revealed that the company had raised a large amount of secret funds through bank accounts illegally opened under the names of up to 1,000 Samsung executives—under his own name, four accounts were opened to manage 5 billion won.
"You can even say the Samsung chairman is more powerful than the President of South Korea. [South] Korean people have come to think of Samsung as invincible and above the law", said Woo Suk-hoon, host of a popular economics podcast in a Washington Post article headlined "In South Korea, the Republic of Samsung", published on 9 December 2012. Critics claimed that Samsung knocked out smaller businesses, limiting choices for South Korean consumers, and sometimes colluded with fellow giants to fix prices while bullying those who investigate. Lee Jung-hee, a South Korean presidential candidate, said in a debate, "Samsung has the government in its hands. Samsung manages the legal world, the press, the academics and bureaucracy".
The Fair Trade Commission of Taiwan is investigating Samsung and its local Taiwanese advertising agency for false advertising. The case was commenced after the Commission received complaints stating that the agency hired students to attack competitors of Samsung Electronics in online forums. Samsung Taiwan made an announcement on its Facebook page in which it stated that it had not interfered with any evaluation report and had stopped online marketing campaigns that constituted posting or responding to content in online forums.
Samsung was the subject of several complaints about child labor in its supply chain from 2012 to 2015.
In July 2014, Samsung cut its contract with Shinyang Electronics after it received a complaint about the company violating child labor laws. Samsung says that its investigation turned up evidence of Shinyang using underage workers and that it severed relations immediately per its "zero tolerance" policy for child labor violations.
CLW issued a statement in August 2014 claiming that HEG employed over ten children under the age of 16 at a factory in Huizhou, Guangdong. The group said the youngest child identified was 14 years old. Samsung said that it conducted an onsite investigation of the production line that included one-on-one interviews but found no evidence of child labor being used. CLW responded that HEG had already dismissed the workers described in its statement before Samsung's investigators arrived.
CLW also claimed that HEG violated overtime rules for adult workers. CLW said a female college student was only paid her standard wage despite working four hours of overtime per day even though Chinese law requires ovetime pay at 1.5 to 2.0 times standard wages.
On 19 October 2011, Samsung companies was fined €145,727,000 for being part of a price cartel of ten companies for DRAMs which lasted from 1 July 1998 to 15 June 2002. The companies received, like most of the other members of the cartel, a 10-% reduction for acknowledging the facts to investigators. Samsung had to pay 90% of their share of the settlement, but Micron avoided payment as a result of having initially revealed the case to investigators.
In Canada, during 1999, some DRAM micro chip manufacturers conspired to price fix, among the accused included Samsung. The price fix was investigated in 2002. A recession started to occur that year, and the price fix ended; however, in 2014, the Canadian government reopened the case and investigated silently. Sufficient evidence was found and presented to Samsung and two other manufacturers during a class action lawsuit hearing. The companies agreed upon a $120 million agreement, with $40 million as a fine, and $80 Million to be paid back to Canadians who purchased a computer, printer, MP3 player, gaming console or camera from April 1999 to June 2002.
On 8 April 2018 in the 2018 Samsung fat-finger error the company mistakenly issued a huge sum of money to employees in a stock ownership plan. The error disrupted the Korean finance market.
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