Samsung runs South Korea

There are three things South Koreans cannot avoid: death, taxes and Samsung.The Samsung Group, the country’s largest conglomerate, runs hospitals where Koreans are born, apartments for raising families, funeral halls for deaths and just about everything else in between.

Best known for Samsung Electronics, the world’s top maker of LCD screens and memory chips, the Samsung Group had sales in 2006 of $159 billion, about equal to one-sixth of the country’s gross domestic product.

With almost 60 affiliates, it accounts for about one fifth of the country’s exports and stock market value. (story)

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