Samsung Group is a South Korean multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul. It comprises numerous subsidiaries and affiliated businesses, most of them united under the Samsung brand, and is the largest South Korean chaebol (business conglomerate).
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 – 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 15th-largest advertising agency measured by 2012 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 South Korea’s $1,082 billion GDP.
In 2013, Samsung began construction on building the world’s largest mobile phone factory in the Thai Nguyen province of Vietnam.
Suwon Samsung Bluewings is a South Korean football club based in the city of Suwon, South Korea, that plays in the K League Classic. Founded in December 1995, they have become one of Asian football’s most famous clubs with a host of domestic and continental honours. Suwon have won the championship on four occasions, in 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2008.
Asia’s Player of the Century Cha Bum-Kun was the manager of the club from 2004 to 2010, when he replaced former national team manager Kim Ho who had been the club’s first manager.
The club was officially founded in December 1995, by the Samsung Group, to be the ninth member of the K-League from the 1996 season. It was also the first club to be founded in one specific city, a plan which led to the K-League initiating plans to encourage the other member clubs to forge similar links with local communities.
Former South Korean national team manager Kim Ho took charge of the side from their first season in the K-League, and the team finished runners-up in the championship play-off that season. The championship was secured in 1998 and retained in 1999 as Suwon started to dominate Korean football.
Suwon lifted the Asian Club Championship (the predecessor to the AFC Champions League) twice in succession in 2001 and 2002, and also added the Asian Super Cup to their roll of honors on two occasions.
The departure of Kim Ho in 2003 saw Korean football legend Cha Bum-Kun appointed manager ahead of the 2004 season, and the club won its third league title in his debut season as manager.
Suwon finished runners-up in both major domestic competitions in 2006, as Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma claimed victory in the K-League championship playoff final and Chunnam Dragons won in the FA Cup final, thwarting Suwon’s attempts to win the first ever domestic double in Korean football.
The 2008 season became one of the most successful seasons in the clubs history. Suwon achieved a domestic “double” by winning the K-League Championship and the League Cup.