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 â Samsung Group; Shinsegae Group; CJ Group and Hansol Group. Since the 1990s Samsung has increasingly globalized its activities; and electronics; particularly 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); Samsung Heavy Industries (the world's 2nd-largest shipbuilder measured by 2010 revenues); and Samsung Engineering and Samsung C&,T (respectively the world's 13th and 36th-largest construction companies). Other notable subsidiaries include Samsung Life Insurance (the world's 14th-largest life insurance company); Samsung Everland (operator of Everland Resort; the oldest theme park in South Korea); Samsung Techwin (an aerospace; surveillance and defense company) and Cheil Worldwide (the world's 16th-largest advertising agency measured by 2011 revenues).
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". Its affiliate companies produce around a fifth of South Korea's total exports. Samsung's revenue was equal to 17% of the South Korea's $1;082 billion GDP.
In 2013; Samsung began construction on building the world's largest ...