Samsung has evolved into one of the two key players in the global consumer electronics industry, now challenging even arch-rival Apple as the leading pace-setter. It was already South Korea's biggest and most powerful business conglomerate. During the 1980s it was one of the five dominant "chaebol", or the family-run business groups, which provided the engine for Korea's massive economic growth during that decade. Ten years later, Asia's economic crisis and intense regulatory pressure from the Korean government caused rivals such as Daewoo and Hyundai to implode. But Samsung managed an orderly restructuring of its interests, becoming stronger than ever before. Though it retains interests in many other areas, the group's main business is electronics. It now ranks as the world's biggest technology company, eclipsing longer established competitors from Japan, Europe and North America. It is the leading manufacturer of memory chips, and the biggest and still fastest-growing producer of mobile phones, televisions and other digital appliances. That business has expanded dramatically in recent years, supported by aggressive marketing campaigns in North America and Western Europe.
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|Samsung SDI||Samsung Engineering|
|Samsung Electro-Mechanics||Cheil Industries|
|Samsung Corning||Samsung Everland|
|Samsung SDS||Shilla Hotel|
|Samsung Life||Cheil Communications|
|Samsung Fire & Marine||S1|
|Samsung Card||Samsung Lions|
|Samsung Securities||Samsung Hospitals|
|Samsung Investment Trust||Samsung Corporation|
Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Feb 2018: A court of appeal in South Korea released Samsung heir and de facto leader Lee Jae-yong after almost a year in prison for authorising bribes to the country's deposed former president Park. A high court in Seoul transmuted Lee's five-year jail sentence into a two year and six month sentence suspended for four years. The partial reprieve shocked some South Korean lawmakers. "Today we witnessed how Samsung is above the law once again," complained one senior member of the left-leaning Democratic Party of Korea. The case may now be referred to Korea's Supreme Court, which can decide to uphold the appeal court decision, or call for the case to be re-examined.
Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Feb 2018: Despite evidence that demand for iPhone X has proved weaker than anticipated, new figures from IDC show that Apple deposed Samsung as the global #1 in smartphones in the final quarter. For the year, though, Samsung remains the clear leader. IDC estimated shipments of 77.3m iPhones in 4Q 2017, equivalent to 19.2% market share. Samsung had volumes of 74.1m devices, or 18.4% share. For the year, Samsung had a lead of more than 100m units to take 21.6% market share, compared to 14.7% for Apple. Chinese manufacturers Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi rounded out the Top Five.
Adbrands Weekly Update 1st Feb 2018: Spectacular growth within its components division delivered record results for Samsung, despite declines in the consumer electronics business and only a modest uplift for mobile communications. Group revenues jumped 19% to the equivalent of $212bn, while net income soared by a staggering 87% to around $37bn, both best-ever performances. That increase was underpinned by a 38% rise in revenues from what Samsung calls "device solutions" to around $99bn, overtaking mobile as Samsung's biggest business by sales. Individual components categories like semiconductors and especially flash memory did even better, up 45% and 59% respectively. Profits from components more than doubled, and that division now accounts for three-quarters of the whole group's total.
Adbrands Weekly Update 11th Jan 2018: Ads of the Week "Lets You Be You". Samsung's global agency Cheil commissioned Shea Glover to re-create the 2015 social experiment in which she filmed people reacting to being called beautiful. In the intervening years, she has evolved from Chicago high school student to YouTube superstar, but the concept is just as charming and as moving as when she first came up with it. People are pretty wonderful, all things considered, and Glover's film serves as a fine illustration of that fact.
Adbrands Weekly Update 2nd Nov 2017: As expected, Samsung delivered a second straight quarter of record profits on revenues up 30% year-on-year. The group also shook up its senior executive team, replacing all three current divisional CEOs in an attempt to introduce fresh blood. Despite its stellar financial results, Samsung has been wrestling with a crisis of management. Though its day-to-day business is handled by three co-CEOs, nominal chairman and patriarch Lee Kun-hee is semi-comatose following a heart attack, and his son and heir and de facto group leader Lee Jae-yong recently began a five year jail sentence for bribery. Two weeks ago, the group's most senior co-CEO Kwon Oh-hyun announced his own resignation, and called for a complete overhaul of the team. Kim Ki-nam will replace him as co-CEO and head of the components division, Samsung's most profitable business. He will be partnered by Kim Hyun-suk, as co-CEO and head of consumer electronics; and Koh Dong-jin as co-CEO and head of mobiles. A new chairman is also expected, with the likely candidate being group CFO Lee Sang-hoon.
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