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Is Samsung a Korean company? A short history of the global giant

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Last updated: May 7th, 2021 at 20:12 UTC+02:00

Samsung is one of the world’s largest technology companies. At $197.7 billion, it ranked second on Fortune’s list of the largest tech companies by revenue in 2020. Samsung is a truly massive conglomerate with a worldwide presence and almost 300,000 employees across the globe.

Most of the companies on that list are from the United States. That has led many to form an assumption as to the origins of Samsung. Ever since it was established, Samsung has gone from strength to strength. You’ll be surprised to know that it didn’t actually start out as a tech company. Yet it has held on to its true heritage.

Samsung is the pride and joy of Korea

Samsung is indeed a Korean company. It was founded as a trading company by Lee Byung-chul in 1938. Its foray into the world of technology would come much later. Samsung initially traded noodles, groceries and dried fish.

The company entered the electronics industry by the late 1960s. Several divisions were set up including Samsung Electro-Mechanism, Samsung Semiconductor, Samsung Electronics and others. Switchboards were the earliest technology products that Samsung made.

It wasn’t until the 1980s that Samsung began to invest heavily in its electronics business. The company started making televisions, computer chips, display panels, batteries and other components. It would later go on to manufacture smartphones and tablets. By 2012, Samsung became the world’s largest vendor of mobile phones by unit sales.

Samsung’s incredible success is a matter of great pride for South Korea. Based in Seoul, it’s the country’s top conglomerate. Samsung Electronics alone accounts for over 37% of the market cap of KOSPI, South Korea’s representative stock market index. The business activity generated by Samsung accounts for almost 20% of South Korea’s entire GDP.

It’s best known across the globe for its mobile and consumer electronics devices. In reality, Samsung is a highly diversified business. It has interests in construction, chemicals, automotive, clothing, ships, medical equipment, finance and many other industries.

Despite its success, Samsung remains committed to raising the bar even higher. The company is heavily investing in business units that will serve as its biggest drivers of growth in the years to come.

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