Who Owns Samsung?

Samsung’s largest shareholders are American shareholders constituting 51% with the rest taken up by the National pension fund, Lee Byung Chul family, domestic institutional investors and domestic individual investors. That said, Samsung is under the total control the Lee Byung Chul family that owns 16.15% of the company.

Speaking of the phones, the iconic Samsung is owned by a conglomerate known as The Samsung Group through the Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Samsung electronics is under the control of the Samsung Group headquartered in Samsung Town, Gangnam station area of Seoul, South Korea.

Samsung electronics is a South Korean multinational electronics company headquartered in Yeongtong-gu, Suwon, South Korea.


Samsung Electronics and Samsung Group Explained.

On the 1st of March 1938, the Samsung group was founded by Lee Byung Chul as a trading company.

Over the years, it has ventured into sectors that include: Clothing, auto motives, chemicals, electronic components, medical equipment, semiconductors, solid state drives, DRAM, flash memory, ships, telecommunications equipment and home appliances.

It also offers services like advertising, construction, entertainment, financial services, hospitality, information and communications technology, medical and health care services, retail, shipbuilding and semiconductor foundry.

The Samsung Group split into five businesses following the demise of its leader, Lee Byung Chul. This task was spearheaded by his successor and son, Lee Kun Hee.

The businesses include:

a) Samsung Group

This is the biggest revenue earner for Samsung as a whole. It controls Samsung Electronics limited which earns over 70% of revenue for the group.

The chairperson of this group is Lee Jae – Yong. Its headquarters are located on the 40th floor Samsung Electronics building, 11, Seocho-Daero 74-gil, Seocho district, Seoul, South Korea.

It deals in various products and services through its many subsidiaries.

These subsidiaries include:

  • Samsung electronics
  • Samsung elector mechanics
  • Samsung SDI
  • Samsung SDS
  • Samsung engineering
  • Samsung C&T corporation
  • Samsung heavy industries
  • Samsung life insurance
  • Samsung fire and marine insurance
  • Samsung biologics

The products and services include: clothing, auto motives, consumer electronics, electronic components, medical equipment, semiconductors, home appliances, DRAM, flash memory, ships, telecommunications, advertising, entertainment, construction, healthcare, retail, shipbuilding, and semi-conductor foundry.


b) Shinsegae Group.

This is the part of the Samsung group that handles its retail businesses.

Its chairman is Lee Myung Hee. Alongside Lotte and Hyundai department store, it stands as one of the big three department store firms in Korea.

It also owns E-mart which is a large discount store chain founded in South Korea with stores in China and Mongolia.

The group has grown in comparison to its competitors due to various acquisitions.

For example, in late May 2006, Shinsagae bought all the 16 existing Walmart stores in Korea.

Following this acquisition, Walmart left exited the South Korean market.

Its subsidiaries include: Central city, E-Mart, Gwangju Shinsegae, Seoul Express bus terminal, Shinsegae I&C, Shinsegae Chelsea, Shinsegae Construction, Shinsegae food system, Shinsegae Dongdaegu CTC, Shinsegae International, Starbucks Coffee Korea, Johnny rockets, Josun Hotel and resort, Emart24, Casamia and Chicor.


c) CJ Group

This is a conglomerate founded in August 1953. The group has had various names along the way starting out as Cheil Sugar Co., Ltd (1953 – 1979) to Cheil Jedang Corporation (1979 – 2002) and then C.J Co., Ltd (2002 – 2007).

The group is led by its chairman Lee Jay-Hyun. It has several subsidiaries that include: CJ CheilJedang (food and beverages), CJ Daehan Express (logistics), CJ ENM (entertainment and retail), CJ CGV (Cinema chain), Studio Dragon, CJ Entertainment, CJ O Shopping, and Olive Young (health and beauty stores, IT).

Over the years, it has acquired various companies that include: Kahiki foods, Schwans Company, Onmedia, Pioneer trading (now CJ Omnifood), Accord Express, CJ consortium and CJ Darcl logistics limited. It is also involved in bio pharma and infrastructure.


d) Hansol Group

This corporation’s main products are paper products, electronics, chemicals, logistics, IT technology and solution services, household interiors and construction.

Its chairperson is Cho Dong-gil.

Its affiliates include:

  • Hansol Paper. This is the main affiliate of the Hansol group. It is the largest paper production firm in Korea standing tall for over 50 years. They specialize in printing paper, special paper, and industrial paper industries.


  • Hansol Holdings. The company was founded in 1965. It works in business counseling and consulting, brand management and investment asset management.


  • Hansol EME. This is a consulting service that was founded in 2001. Its services are available to small and medium sized power pants, plant engineering, complex environmental energy and O&M industries.


  • Hansol Papertech. This is a wrapping paper manufacturing company. It was founded in 1979. It works in packaging materials and produces surface paper, scrap paper and medium paper.


  • Hansol PNS. This company was founded in 1993. It is a paper distribution company and IT services business.


  • Hansol Homedeco. This is an interior material company that was founded in 1991. It is also involved in plantation, lumber, wood powder, new and renewable energy industries.


  • Hansol logistics. It was originally known as Hansol CSN and was founded in 1973. The company is involved in domestic land transportation business, import-export integrated logistics business and 3PL business.


  • Hansol Technics. The company was founded in 1966. It specializes in electronics, solar, LED material and electronics manufacturing businesses. It is also involved in the semiconductor business.


  • Hansol Inticube. The company was founded in 2002. It supplies mobile operators with software-based exchanger solutions with specialty in technology development.


  • Hansol Chemical. The company was founded in 1980 with its production facilities located in Jeonju, Xi’an and Ulsan. The company specializes in chemical products including papermaking chemicals, environmental chemicals, IT chemicals, and household chemicals.


  • Tapex. The company was founded in 1977 and was acquired by Hansol group in 2016 for $114.5 million. It specializes in electronics and consumer good products like tape for secondary batteries, tape for semiconductor packing processes, functional tape, Uniwraps for food packaging among others.


e) Joongang Group

The company was founded by Lee Byung Chul in 1965 as Joongang Ilbo operating as a newspaper.

Over the years, it built up its name as one of the biggest newspaper in South Korea.

It has an alliance with the International New York Times for publishing an English edition, Korea JoongAng Daily. It also owns a movie theatres chain and a drama producing company.


Important Dates for Samsung.

  • March 1st, 1938: Samsung is founded by Lee Byung Chul at the age of 29 with just $30. The name Samsung is derived from two words; Sam (grand and mighty) and Sung (star symbolizing an eternally shining start to be strong, great and everlasting)
  • 1948: Samsung C&T Corporation is established.
  • 1951: Samsung C&T Corporation is re-established. This happens during the Korean war.
  • 1953: Cheiljedang is founded.
  • 1954: Cheil industries is founded.
  • 1958: Samsung takes over Ankuk Fire and Marine Insurance Co.
  • 1957: In January, Samsung conducts the first ever open recruitment exercise for new employees. In March of the same year, the conglomerate initiates the Samsung New Employee Course to foster top talents.
  • 1961: Lee Byung Chul is appointed as the first president of the Federation of Korean industries.
  • 1963: Samsung acquires Dong-bang life insurance and Shinsegae department store.
  • 1964: Samsung establishes Korean fertilizer industry. It also establishes Dong-Yang broadcasting in the same year.
  • 1965: Samsung acquires Sae-Han paper Co. Samsung achieves an annual export of $4.8 million. It also establishes Joongang Ilbo and the Samsung Foundation.
  • 1968: Samsung establishes Korea hospital.
  • 1969: Samsung establishes Samsung electronics (SEC).
  • 1974: Samsung establishes Samsung heavy industries and Samsung Petrochemicals as it expanded Cheil worldwide. Samsung also acquires Hankook Semiconductor.
  • 1975: Samsung releases Econo TV and Samsung C&T corporation is designated as the first general trading company. This is also when Samsung’s products take up 14% of Korea’s total export.
  • 1976: Samsung develops color TV and opens Samsung Everland.
  • 1977: Samsung exports color TV to Panama for the first time. In dadition, Samsung Construction and Samsung Fine Chemicals are founded.
  • 1978: Samsung Engineering is founded and Hotel Shila is started.
  • 1979: Samsung is awarded for reaching $100 million dollars in export revenue.
  • 1980: Samsung establishes Korea Safety system.
  • 1982: Samsung opens Samsung training institute.
  • 1983: The construction of VLSI plant in Cheung begins. In November, Samsung successfully develops 64K DRAM for the first time in Korea.
  • 1986: Samsung develops 1 Mega D-RAM.
  • 1987: Samsung opens AIT (Advanced Institute of Technology) and exports the 1M DRAM in December. However, on November 19th, Hoam Lee Byung Chul passed away. His son, Lee Kun Hee takes over as the Chairman of Samsung.
  • 1988: The 2nd Foundation is declared. Samsung builds a comprehensive system for financial service, integrates home appliance, communication and semiconductors, and focuses on developing electronics and heavy chemical industry. In this move, Samsung also separates Cheiljedang, Shinsegae and Jeonju paper. Over the course of the next decade, Samsung restructures from 59 subsidiaries to just 40.
  • 1997: Samsung becomes an Olympics partner after signing a partnership with IOC.
  • 1998: Samsung embarks on a journey to turn into a digital company.


Samsung and Apple lawsuits.

For the better part of the decade, the two tech giants have battled it out in court over various issues most notably copyright infringement.

It is on record that they have both lost cases against each other for copyright infringement.

That said, the two companies are awaiting judgements from other countries.

Samsung has already been fined over $1 billion. So, it would be better if they get the judgement to go their way.