A chaebol (a term that combines the Korean words for “wealth” and “clan”) is a family-controlled South Korean conglomerate, somewhat similar to the Japanese keiretsu concept. While the founding families do not own majority stakes in the companies, Korean culture allows them to maintain control out of respect for their long associations with the businesses. Among the major chaebols are Samsung, LG, Hyundai, and SK Group. The chaebol originated after the Korean War, in the 1950s. South Korea’s government picked companies that were seen as having the potential to thrive internationally to take the lead in industries. These companies were guaranteed financing and protected from local competition to help them grow and take the nation out of poverty. Chaebols produce about three quarters of South ...

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