30 Lesser Known Facts You Probably Aren’t Aware About Samsung


Samsung Group, headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul, currently the largest South Korean chaebol (business conglomerate), was initially founded by Lee Byung-chul in 1938 as a trading company. It was reported that Samsung's revenue was equal to 17% of South Korea's $1,082 billion GDP. Here are some interesting things about the company:

  1. Samsung is a South Korean multinational conglomerate headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul. There are numerous affiliated and subsidiary businesses under Samsung brands.
  2. The word Samsung means ‘tristar’ or ‘three stars’ is derived from Korean hanja word. The three represents something big, numerous and big.
  3. The Samsung Company was founded on March 01, 1938 by Lee Byung-chull, in Daegu City, as small trading company with forty employees dealing in dried-fish, locally grown groceries and noodles.
  4. In 1947, Lee started Samsung MulsanGongsa, the trading corporation in partnership with Cho Hong-jai of Hyosung group. They parted ways after few years.
  5. After the Korean War, Lee diversified his business and started sugar refinery in Busan named CheilJedang and in 1954 he founded largest woollen mill called CheilMojik in Daegu.
  6. In 1960s the company prospered by entering into paper products, departmental stores and insurance enterprises. With the help of Sanyo, Lee establishes Samsung Electronics in 1969 to produce inexpensive TVs and consumer products for Sears and General Electric.
  7. The Shilla Hotel & Resort opened in March 1979, following the intention of Samsung founder Lee, as face of Korea. The hotel is in par with the best in industry with duty-free-shop business.
  8. In 1980, Samsung acquired ‘HangukJeonjaTongsin’ to enter telecommunication market. They started with switchboards and later switched over to telephone and fax system manufacturing. This was clubbed into Samsung Electronics.
  9. After the death of its founder Lee Byung-chul on November 19, 1987, the Samsung group was split into four as Shinsegae Group, CJ Group and Hansol Group.
  10. The Samsung Electronics went global with television industries and invested heavily in research and development. They started establishing plants in Portugal, New York, Austin, Tokyo and England. The Austin plant called Samsung Austin Semiconductor is the largest foreign investment in Texas. In 1995 it created its first liquid-crystal display screen.
  11. The tall structures of the world are credited with Samsung’s technology. The two Petronas Towers, Taipei 101 in Taiwan and the Burj Khalifa in Unites Arab Emirates are constructed by Samsung’s construction branch.
  12. In 1993, some of its subsidiaries were sold and consolidated into three main industries, namely electronics, engineering and chemicals. Samsung came to be recognized as world second largest chip-maker after intel, and world’s largest manufacturer of LCD panels.
  13. In January 01, 1997, Samsung lost a chance to revive Dutch aircraft maker ‘Fokker,’ when three proposed partners, Hyundai, Hanjin and Daewoo notified South Korean government of their reluctance. Fokker shut down 90% of its operation and laid-off 5,600 workers.
  14. The year 2000 saw Samsung Electronics establish its base in Europe with a computer programming laboratory in Warsaw, Poland, which is very important R&D center in Europe. It started with set-top box technology before moving on to television and smartphones. In 2012, Samsung became world’s largest mobile phone maker.
  15. On August 14, 2014, Samsung acquired SmartThinks, a fast growing automation startup and on 19th of same month it acquired U.S air conditioner distributer Quietside LLC, to strengthen its ‘smart home’ business.
  16. Samsung’s made its presence felt in United States. It was granted more patents than any other company in 2015, with 7,679 out of 4443 application, which also topped the list. This is apart from 1,352 design patents during the same time frame.
  17. The company is investing $ 300 million in Silicon Valley with 10 story complex as its North America headquarters for semiconductor R&D and other sales and marketing functions. It has also planned Samsung 360 services for business IT departments, ranging from technical support to security solutions as an on-site manager.
  18. On August 24, 2012, Samsung was asked to pay $ 1.05 billion to Apple for violating six of its patents on Samsung smartphone technology by the American jurors. The ruling had its effect on the shares which fell 7.7% on the Kospi index, the largest since 2008.
  19. The corporation is spending around $ 14 billion on advertising and marketing, with publicity on billboard, TV and cinema commercials apart from sports and arts events. Samsung spends bigger chunk of its revenue on advertisement, much more than any other companies by sales, which is 5.4% with market value of $ 227 billion.
  20. The company carried out its audit of 250 Korean company’s Chinese suppliers for practice of hiring underage workers, following a report in 2012. Its July 10 audit report of 2014 did find improper employment practices but did not find any instant of child labor.
  21. In 2016, Samsung working with Microsoft developed the Internet of Thinks (IoT) device based on Windows 10, as well as integrate with other company’s hardware. On June 03, 2016 it released a fitness ‘smartwatch’ called the Gear Fit 2 and brand of wireless ‘earbuds’ called Gear IconX.
  22. The ‘Fair Trade Commission of Taiwan’ is investigating Samsung and its local Taiwanese advertising agency of false advertising. The commission received complaints that students are hired to attack Samsung Electronics competitors in online forum.
  23. On October 19, 2011 Samsung companies was fined € 145,727,000 for being part of price cartel of ten companies for ‘DRAMs which lasted from July 1998 to June 2002.
  24. In 2007, former chief lawyer of Samsung Kim Yong Chul, claimed that he was involved in bribing and fabricating evidence on behalf of the group’s chairman Lee Kun-Hee. He also stated that he was sidelined after he refused to pay $ 3.3 million to U.S Federal District Court judge.
  25. Despite its success Samsung had to close many of the joint ventures for some reason or the other. In 1998, a joint venture with Compaq-called Alpha Processor Inc. with investment of $ 500 million was abruptly ended. Similarly a joint venture with General Electric was short lived from 1998 to 2009. A Global Steel Exchange with US based Cargill to handle online business also botched.
  26. The Samsung’s major clients include Royal Dutch Shell, to whom Samsung Heavy Industries is the sole provider of LNG storage facilities for next 15 years. It is one of the three Korean companies to build nuclear power plants in United Arab Emirates. Samsung also won a deal worth $ 6.6 billion for world largest renewable energy project of wind and solar energy.
  27. The Samsung Group comprises of 13 main groups diversified into Samsung Engineering, Samsung Everland, Samsung Fine Chemicals, Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, Samsung Heavy Industries, Samsung Life Insurance, Samsung Machine Tools, Samsung Medical Center, Samsung SDI, Samsung Securities, Shilla Hotels & Resorts, S-1 Corporation and its flag ship company Samsung Electronics .
  28. Samsung is fifteenth in the list of largest companies by revenue with US$173,957 million, owning around 80 companies employing 325,000 persons globally.
  29. The Samsung logo is a symbol of universe and world stage. The opening on both ends of the letter ‘S’ and ‘G’ illustrates open mindedness and desire to communicate with the world. The color depicts reliability and corporate social responsibility.
  30. The people of South Korea have come to believe that Samsung Chairman is more powerful than the President of South Korea. A South Korea presidential candidate said in a debate, ‘Samsung has the government in its hand. It manages the legal world, the press, the academics and bureaucracy.’

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