This article is about the conglomerate company. For the publicly traded company, see Samsung Electronics. For the eSports team, see Samsung Galaxy (eSports).
Not to be confused with Samsun, Samson, Sanson, or Sampson.

Native name
Industry Conglomerate
Founded March 1, 1938 (1938-03-01)
Daegu, Japanese Korea
Founder Lee Byung-chul
Headquarters 40th floor Samsung Electronics Building, 11, Seocho-daero 74-gil, Seocho District, Seoul, South Korea[1]
Area served
Key people
Lee Kun-hee
(Chairman of Samsung Electronics)
Lee Jae-yong
(Vice chairman of Samsung Electronics)
Products Apparel, chemicals, consumer electronics, electronic components, medical equipment, semiconductors, ships, telecommunications equipment
Services Advertising, construction, entertainment, financial services, hospitality, information and communications technology, medical and health care services, retail, shipbuilding
Revenue Decrease US$ 305 billion (2014)[2]
Decrease US$ 22.1 billion (2014)[2]
Total assets Increase US$ 529.5 billion (2014)[2]
Total equity Increase US$ 231.2 billion (2014)[2]
Number of employees
489,000 (2014)[2]
Subsidiaries Samsung Electronics
Samsung C&T Corporation
Samsung Heavy Industries
Samsung SDS
Samsung Life Insurance
Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance
Cheil Worldwide
Hangul 삼성
Hanja 三星
Revised Romanization Samseong
McCune–Reischauer Samsŏng

Samsung (Hangul: 삼성; Hanja: 三星; Korean pronunciation: [sʰamsʰʌŋ]) is a South Korean multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul.[1] It comprises numerous subsidiaries and affiliated businesses,[1] 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 globalized its activities and electronics; in particular, its mobile phones and semiconductors have become its most important source of income.

Notable Samsung industrial subsidiaries include Samsung Electronics (the world's largest information technology company measured by 2012 revenues, and 4th in market value),[3] Samsung Heavy Industries (the world's 2nd-largest shipbuilder measured by 2010 revenues),[4] and Samsung Engineering and Samsung C&T (respectively the world's 13th and 36th-largest construction companies).[5] Other notable subsidiaries include Samsung Life Insurance (the world's 14th-largest life insurance company),[6] Samsung Everland (operator of Everland Resort, the oldest theme park in South Korea)[7] and Cheil Worldwide (the world's 15th-largest advertising agency measured by 2012 revenues).[8][9]

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".[10][11] Its affiliate companies produce around a fifth of South Korea's total exports.[12] Samsung's revenue was equal to 17% of South Korea's $1,082 billion GDP.[13]


According to Samsung's founder, the meaning of the Korean hanja word Samsung () is "tri-star" or "three stars". The word "three" represents something "big, numerous and powerful".[14]


1938 to 1970

The headquarters of Sanghoes in Daegu in the late 1930s

In 1938, Lee Byung-chull (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).[15] It dealt in dried-fish,[16] locally-grown groceries and made 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. President Park Chung Hee placed great importance on industrialization. He focused his economic development strategy on a handful of large domestic conglomerates, protecting them from competition and assisting them financially.[17]

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.[18][19]

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.

1970 to 1990

The SPC-1000, introduced in 1982, was Samsung's first personal computer (Korean market only) and used an audio cassette tape to load and save data – the floppy drive was optional[20]

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.[21] 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.[22] 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.[23] 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".[23]

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.[24][25]

1990 to 2000

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.[26] 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).[27] 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 December 26, 2011, it was announced that Samsung had acquired the stake of Sony in this joint venture.[28]

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, 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.[29]

2000 to 2015

In 2000, Samsung opened a computer programming laboratory in Warsaw, Poland. Its work began with set-top-box technology before moving into digital TV and smartphones. As of 2011, the Warsaw base is Samsung's most important R&D center in Europe, forecast to be recruiting 400 new-hires per year by the end of 2013.[30]

The prominent Samsung sign in Times Square, New York City

In 2010, Samsung announced a ten-year growth strategy centered around five businesses.[31] One of these businesses was to be focused on biopharmaceuticals, to which the company has committed 2,100,000,000,000.[32]

In December 2011, Samsung Electronics sold its hard disk drive business to Seagate.[33]

In first quarter of 2012, Samsung Electronics became the world's largest mobile phone maker by unit sales, overtaking Nokia, which had been the market leader since 1998.[34][35] On 21 August's edition of the Austin American-Statesman, Samsung confirmed plans to spend 3 to 4 billion dollars converting half of its Austin chip manufacturing plant to a more profitable chip.[36] The conversion should start in early 2013 with production on line by the end of 2013. On 14 March 2013, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S4.

On August 24, 2012, nine American jurors ruled that Samsung 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.[37] Samsung decried the decision saying that the move could harm innovation in the sector.[38] It also followed a South Korean ruling stating that both companies were guilty of infringing on each other's intellectual property.[39] 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.[40] 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[41] which has been denied by the court.[42]

On September 4, 2012, Samsung announced that it plans to examine all of its Chinese suppliers for possible violations of labor policies. The company said it will carry out audits of 250 Chinese companies that are its exclusive suppliers to see if children under the age of 16 are being used in their factories.[43]

In 2013, a New Zealand news outlet reported a number of Samsung washing machines spontaneously catching on fire.[44] The corporation is expected to spend $14 billion on advertising and marketing in 2013, with publicity appearing in TV and cinema ads, on billboards and at sports and arts events. In November 2013, the corporation was valued at $227 billion.[45]

In May 2014, Samsung announced it will be shutting down its streaming service on 1 July 2014, also meaning the end of the Samsung Music Hub app that typically comes installed on its Android phones.[46]

On September 3, 2014, Samsung announced Gear VR, a virtual reality device in collaboration with Oculus VR and developed for the Galaxy Note 4.[47]

In October 2014, Samsung announced a $14.7 billion investment to build a chip plant in South Korea. Construction will begin next year with production beginning in 2017. The company has not yet decided the type of chips to be produced.[48]

In October 2014, Samsung also announced it would invest 633 billion South Korean won ($560 million USD) in the construction of a new 700,000 square metre production complex in Vietnam.[49]

Samsung plans to launch a new set of services beginning early 2015. The goal of this new suite of business offerings, dubbed Samsung 360 Services, is to become a help desk of sorts for businesses IT departments. The customizable services range from technical support to security solutions for having a Samsung employee embedded in a client's business as an on-site support manager or technology consultant.[50]

On December 2, 2014, Samsung announced it will sell Fiber Optics to U.S. speciality glass manufacturer Corning Inc.[51]

Samsung Electronics Inc. is expanding in Silicon Valley with a $300 million facility in San Jose, California. The 10-story complex will include 1.1 million square feet of floor space, a clean room for semiconductors and a "fitness center in the sky". The facility will be split between semiconductor research and development and other sales and marketing functions. It will serve as the North America headquarters for semiconductor operations.[52]

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 Dec. 11.[53]


In January 2016, Samsung announced it will be working with Microsoft to develop IoT devices based on Windows 10, where the companies will work together to develop products that will run on the platform, as well as integrate with other companies developing hardware and services on Microsoft's OS.[54]

Samsung released a fitness smartwatch called the Gear Fit 2 and a brand of wireless earbuds called Gear Icon X.[55]

Acquisitions and attempted acquisitions

Samsung has made the following acquisitions and attempted acquisitions:[56]

Rollei – Swiss watch battle
Samsung Techwin acquired German camera-maker Rollei in 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. 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.[57][58] In 1999, Rollei management bought out the company.[59]
Fokker – 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—notified the South Korean government that they would not join Samsung Aerospace Industries.[60]
AST Research
Samsung bought AST (1994) in a failed attempt to break into the North American computer market. Samsung was forced to close the California-based computer maker following mass resignations of research staff and a string of losses.[61]
FUBU – clothing and apparel
In 1992, American fashion entrepreneur Daymond John had started the company with a hat collection that was made in the basement of 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 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 invested in FUBU in 1995.[62]
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.[63] 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.[64]
MEDISON Co.,Ltd. – ultrasound monitors
In December 2010, Samsung Electronics bought MEDISON Co., a South Korean medical-equipment company, the first step in a long-discussed plan to diversify from consumer electronics.[65]
Grandis Inc. – memory developer
In July 2011, Samsung announced that it had acquired spin-transfer torque random access memory (MRAM) vendor Grandis Inc.[66] Grandis will become a part of Samsung's R&D operations and will focus on development of next generation random-access memory.[67]
Samsung and Sony joint venture – liquid crystal displays
On 26 December 2011 the board of Samsung Electronics approved a plan to buy Sony's entire stake in their 2004 joint liquid crystal display (LCD) venture for 1.08 trillion won ($938.97 million).[68]
mSpot, Inc – music service
On 9 May 2012, mSpot announced that it had been acquired by Samsung Electronics with the intention of a cloud based music service.[69] The succeeding service was Samsung Music Hub.
NVELO, Inc. – cache software developer
In December 2012, Samsung announced that it had acquired the privately held storage software vendor NVELO, Inc., based in Santa Clara, California.[70] NVELO will become part of Samsung's R&D operations, and will focus on software for intelligently managing and optimizing next-generation Samsung SSD storage subsystems for consumer and enterprise computing platforms.
NeuroLogica – portable CT scanner
In January 2013, Samsung announced that it has acquired medical imaging company NeuroLogica, part of the multinational conglomerate's plans to build a leading medical technology business. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.[71]
SmartThings – home automation
On 14 August 2014, Samsung acquired SmartThings, a fast-growing home automation startup. The company isn't releasing the acquisition price, but TechCrunch reported a $200 million pricetag when first caught word of the deal in July 2014.[72]
Quietside – U.S. air conditioner firm
On 19 August 2014, Samsung said it had acquired U.S. air conditioner distributor Quietside LLC as part of its push to strengthen its "smart home" business. A Samsung Electronics spokesman said the South Korean company acquired 100 percent of Quietside, but declined to elaborate on the price or other details.[73]
Proximal Data – data virtualization
3 November 2014, Samsung announced it had acquired Proximal Data, Inc., a San Diego, California-based pioneer of server-side caching software with I/O intelligence that work within virtualized systems.[74]
LoopPay – U.S. mobile payments firm
On 18 February 2015, Samsung acquired U.S. based mobile payments firm "LoopPay" - This allows Samsung in smartphone transactions.[75]
YESCO Electronics – U.S. based manufacturer of light emitting diode displays
On 5 March 2015, Samsung acquired small U.S.-based manufacturer of light emitting diode displays, YESCO Electronics, which focuses on making digital billboards and message signs.[76]
Viv intelligent personal assistant
On 5 October 2016, Samsung announced it had acquired Viv, a company working on artificial intelligence.[77]
Rich Communications Services – text messaging standard
On 15 November 2016, Samsung Canada announced it has acquired Rich Communications Services, a company working on a new technology for text messaging.[78]

Sold parts

Samsung Techwin

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[79] and the take-over completed in June 2015.[80]

Samsung Thales

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.[81] Samsung's involvement was passed on to Hanwha Group as part of the Techwin transaction.[80]

Samsung Total

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.[80]


The Samsung Library at Sungkyunkwan University Natural Sciences Campus in Suwon, South Korea
Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance HQ

Samsung comprises around 80 companies.[82] It is highly diversified, with activities in areas including construction, consumer electronics, financial services, shipbuilding and medical services.[82]

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).[83] However, it should be noted that these amounts do not include the revenues from all of Samsung's subsidiaries based outside South Korea.[84]

Subsidiaries and affiliates

As of April 2011, the Samsung Group comprised 59 unlisted companies and 19 listed companies, all of which had their primary listing on the Korea Exchange.[85]

Principal subsidiary and affiliate companies of Samsung include:

Ace Digitech

Ace Digitech is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 036550).

Cheil Industries

Cheil Industries is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 001300).[86]

Cheil Worldwide

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

Imarket Korea is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 122900).

Samsung Card

Samsung Card is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 029780).

Samsung SDS

Main article: Samsung SDS

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

Samsung C&T Corporation is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (000830).

Samsung Electro-Mechanics

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).[87]

Samsung Electronics

Main article: Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics is a multinational electronics and information technology company headquartered in Suwon and the flagship company of the Samsung Group.[88] 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.[89] 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%.[90] It is also the world's second-largest semiconductor maker by 2011 revenues (after Intel).[91]

Samsung Electronics is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 005930).

Samsung Engineering

Main article: Samsung Engineering

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.[92] It achieved total revenues of 9,298.2 billion won (US$8.06 billion) in 2011.[93]

Samsung Engineering is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 02803450).

Samsung Everland

Samsung Everland engages in an array of services closely associated with the day-to-day lives and business operations of its customers. Its business scope covers the three main sectors of Environment & Asset, Food Culture and Resort.

Since its inception in 1963 and the launch of theme park "Everland" in 1976, Samsung Everland has steadily built its presence across the markets of golf, building management, food and beverage, energy and environment. Through this process, Samsung Everland has managed to achieve its current market standing. As a corporation trusted by the local community and renowned globally as a pioneer in the infrastructure of life, Samsung Everland strives to help its customers lead fulfilling lives and achieve success in their business operations by building the infrastructure for every aspect of life including entertainment, culinary and business.

Samsung Fine Chemicals

Samsung Fine Chemicals is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 004000).

Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance

Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance is a multinational general insurance company headquartered in Seoul.[94] It was founded in January 1952 as Korea Anbo Fire and Marine Insurance and was renamed Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance in December 1993.[95] Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance offers services including accident insurance, automobile insurance, casualty insurance, fire insurance, liability insurance, marine insurance, personal pensions and loans.[96] As of March 2011 it had operations in 10 countries and 6.5 million customers.[96] 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.[96] 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).[96]

Samsung Heavy Industries

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.[97] 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).[98][99]

Samsung Heavy Industries is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 010140).

Samsung Life Insurance

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.[100] Samsung Life's principal activity is the provision of individual life insurance and annuity products and services.[101] As of December 2011 it had operations in seven countries, 8.08 million customers and 5,975 employees.[100] Samsung Life had total sales of 22,717 billion won in 2011 and total assets of 161,072 billion won at 31 December 2011.[100] 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

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.[102]

Samsung Medical Center

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

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.[103] SSDI also builds lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles such as the BMW i3, and acquired Magna Steyr's battery plant in 2015.[104] SSDI began using the "21700" cell format in August 2015.[105] Samsung plans to build a factory in Hungary to supply 50,000 cars per year.[106]

Samsung Securities

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 redirects to Samsung.

Shilla Hotels and Resorts

The Hotel 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". THE 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. THE 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. Shilla Hotels and Resorts is listed on the Korea Exchange stock-exchange (number 008770).

S-1 Corporation

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).

Joint ventures

aT Grain

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.[107]

Brooks Automation Asia

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.[108]

POSCO-Samsung Slovakia Steel Processing Center

Company POSS – SLPC s.r.o. was founded in 2007 as a subsidiary of Samsung C & T Corporation, Samsung C & T Deutschland and the company POSCO.[109]

Samsung Air China Life Insurance

Samsung Air China Life Insurance is a 50:50 joint venture between Samsung Life Insurance and China National Aviation Corporation. It was established in Beijing in July 2005.[110]

Samsung Biologics

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.[111]

Samsung Bioepis

Samsung Bioepis is a joint venture between Samsung Biologics (85%) and the U.S.-based Biogen Idec (15%).[112] In 2014, Biogen Idec agreed to commercialize future anti-TNF biosimilar products in Europe through Samsung Bioepis.[113]

Samsung BP Chemicals

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.[114][115][116]

Samsung Corning Precision Glass

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

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.[117]

SB LiMotive

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.

SD Flex

SD Flex Co., Ltd. was founded on October 2004 as a joint venture corporation by Samsung and DuPont, one of the world's largest chemical companies.[118]

Sermatech Korea

Sermatech 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.[119]

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.[120]

Siltronic Samsung Wafer

Siltronic Samsung Wafer Pte. Ltd, the joint venture by Samsung and wholly owned Wacker Chemie subsidiary Siltronic, was officially opened in Singapore in June 2008.[121]


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.


Steco Co. is the joint venture established between Samsung Electronics and Japan's Toray Industries in 1995.[122]


Stemco is a joint venture established between Samsung Electro-Mechanics and Toray Industries in 1995.[123]

Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology

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%.


Alpha Processor

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.[124]

GE-Samsung Lighting

GE Samsung Lighting was a joint venture between Samsung and the GE Lighting subsidiary of General Electric. The venture was established in 1998 and was broken up in 2009.[125]

Global Steel Exchange

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.[126]


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.

Partially owned companies

Atlântico Sul

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.[127] The companies have a technical assistance agreement through which industrial design, vessel engineering and other know-how is being transferred to Atlântico Sul.[128]

DGB Financial Group

Samsung Life Insurance currently holds a 7.4% stake in the South Korean banking company DGB Financial Group, making it the largest shareholder.[129]

Corning Inc.

Samsung acquired 7.4% of Gorilla Glass maker Corning, signing a long-term supply deal.[130]

Doosan Engine

Samsung Heavy Industries currently holds a 14.1% stake in Doosan Engine, making it the second-largest shareholder.[131]

Korea Aerospace Industries

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%).[132]


MEMC's joint venture with Samsung Electronics Company, Ltd. In 1990, MEMC entered into a joint venture agreement to construct a silicon plant in Korea.[133]


Samsung buys 10% stake in rival phone maker Pantech.[134]

Rambus Incorporated

Samsung currently owns 4.19% of Rambus Incorporated.[135]

Renault Samsung Motors

Samsung currently owns 19.9% of the automobile manufacturer Renault Samsung Motors.

Seagate Technology

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.[136]

Sharp Corporation

Samsung owns 3% of Sharp Corporation, a rival company.[137]

SungJin Geotec

Samsung Engineering holds a 10% stake in Sungjin Geotec, an offshore oil drilling company that is a subsidiary of POSCO.[138]

Taylor Energy

Taylor Energy is an independent American oil company that drills in the Gulf of Mexico based in New Orleans, Louisiana.[139] Samsung Oil & Gas USA Corp., subsidiaries of Samsung, currently owns 20% of Taylor Energy.


Samsung owns 5% of Wacom.[140]

Major clients

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.[141]

Major clients of Samsung include:

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.[142][143]
Shell unveiled plans to build the world's first floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) platform. In October 2012[144] at Samsung Heavy Industries' shipyard on Geoje Island in South Korea work started on a "ship" that, when finished and fully loaded, will weigh 600,000 tonnes, the world's biggest "ship". That is six times larger than the largest U.S. aircraft carrier.[145]
United Arab Emirates government
A consortium of South Korean firms, including Samsung, Korea Electric Power Corporation and Hyundai, won a deal worth $40 billion to build nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates.[146]
Ontario government
The government of the Canadian province of Ontario signed off one of the world's largest renewable energy projects, signing a deal worth $6.6 billion to for an additional 2,500 MW of new wind and solar energy. 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.[147]

Logo and font

Samsung Byeolpyo noodles logo, used from late 1938 until replaced in 1958 
Samsung Group logo, used 1960s 
Samsung's current logo, in use since 1993[148] 

The current Samsung logo design is intended to emphasize flexibility and simplicity while conveying a dynamic and innovative image through the ellipse, the symbol of the universe and the world stage. The openings on both ends of the ellipse where the letters "S" and "G" are located are intended to illustrate the company's open-mindedness and the desire to communicate with the world. The English rendering is a visual expression of its core corporate vision, excellence in customer service through technology.

The basic color in the logo is blue, which the company has employed for years, symbolizing stability, reliability and corporate social responsibility.[149]

Audio logo

Samsung has an audio logo, which consists of the notes E♭, A♭, D♭, E♭. The audio logo was produced by Musikvergnuegen and written by Walter Werzowa.[150][151]


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.[152]

Samsung Medical Center

Samsung donates around US$100 million per annum to the Samsung Medical Center, a non-profit healthcare provider founded by the group in 1994.[153] 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.[154]

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.


A Samsung display in Salt Lake City during the 2002 Winter Olympics
For more details on Samsung's sports sponsorships, see Samsung Sports.

Samsung have been the sponsors of Premier League football club Chelsea since 2005, the sponsorship was ended after ten years in June 2015.[155]

Samsung, which started as a domestic sponsor of the Olympics in Seoul 1988, has been a worldwide Olympic partner since the 1998 Winter Olympics.[156]

Samsung operating many sports clubs, football club Suwon Samsung Bluewings, baseball club Samsung Lions, basketball club Seoul Samsung Thunders, volleyball club Daejeon Samsung Fire Bluefangs, etc.

Samsung also sponsors a former StarCraft: Brood War and current Starcraft II and League of Legends professional gaming team named Samsung Galaxy. Samsung has sponsored the team since 2000.

Samsung Electronics spent an estimated $14 billion (U.S.) – more than Iceland's GDP – 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.[157]

Samsung is the principal partner of the Sydney Opera House.[158]

In April 2016, Samsung were announced as the main sponsor of German Football League team Frankfurt Universe. Of the sponsorship, the Deputy President of Samsung Electronics said "it is important to promote athletic excellence not only in Germany but also in Frankfurt. Therefore we Frankfurt Universe want a great first season in the premier league of GFL". The partnership is for three years.[159]

Litigation and regulatory issues

Financial scandals

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.[160]

Antitrust concerns

"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".[161]

Viral marketing

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.[162] 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.[163]

Labor abuses

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.[164] 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.

One of Samsung's Chinese supplier factories, HEG, was criticized for using underage workers by China Labor Watch (CLW) in July 2014. HEG denied the charges and has sued China Labor Watch.[165][166]

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.[164]

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.[164]

Price fixing

On October 19, 2011, Samsung 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 company 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.[167]

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.[168]

Programmed failure of products

Samsung produces printers that are programmed to stop working even though the printer is still working perfectly. There are some work-arounds for users, for instance to more than double the life of the printer after it stops with a message to replace the imaging drum.[169]


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