From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Revised RomanizationJaebeol

A chaebol (/ˈbɒl, ˈɛbəl/,[1][2] Korean재벌; lit. "rich family"; Korean pronunciation: [tɕɛ̝.bʌl]) is a large industrial conglomerate that is run and controlled by an owner or family in South Korea.[2] A chaebol often consists of many diversified affiliates, controlled by an owner whose power over the group often exceeds legal authority.[3] The first known use in an English text was in 1972.[2] Several dozen large South Korean family-controlled corporate groups fall under this definition.

Chaebols have also played a significant role in South Korean politics. In 1988, a member of a chaebol family, Chung Mong-joon, president of Hyundai Heavy Industries, successfully ran for the National Assembly of South Korea. Other business leaders also were chosen to be members of the National Assembly through proportional representation.[4] Hyundai has made efforts to contribute to the thawing North Korean relations, but not without controversy.[5] Many South Korean family-run chaebols have been criticized for low dividend payouts and other governance practices that favor controlling shareholders at the expense of ordinary investors.[6]


The word "chaebol" derived from the McCune–Reischauer romanization, chaebŏl, of the Korean word jaebeol (재벌, from jae "wealth or property" + beol "faction or clan" – also written with the same Chinese characters 財閥 as zaibatsu in Japan).[2] The first known use in an English text was in 1972.[2]


The former headquarters of Hyundai in Seoul.

South Korea's economy was small and predominantly agricultural well into the mid-20th century. However, the policies of President Park Chung Hee spurred rapid industrialisation by promoting large businesses, following his seizure of power in 1961. The First Five Year Economic Plan[3] by the government set industrial policy toward new investment, and chaebols were to be guaranteed loans from the banking sector. The chaebol played a key role in developing new industries, markets, and export production, helping make South Korea one of the Four Asian Tigers.

Although South Korea's major industrial programs did not begin until the early 1960s, the origins of the country's entrepreneurial elite were found in the political economy of the 1950s. Very few Koreans had owned or managed larger corporations during the Japanese colonial period. After the departure of the Japanese in 1945, some Korean businessmen obtained the assets of some of the Japanese firms, a number of which grew into the chaebols of the 1990s.[4]

The companies, as well as certain other firms that were formed in the late 1940s and early 1950s, had close links with Syngman Rhee's First Republic, which lasted from 1948 to 1960. It is confirmed that many of these companies received special treatment from the government in return for kickbacks and other payments.[4]

When the military took over the government in 1961, its leaders announced that they would eradicate the corruption that had plagued the Rhee administration and eliminate "injustice" from society. Some leading industrialists were arrested and charged with corruption, but the new government realized that it would need the help of entrepreneurs if the government's ambitious plans to modernize the economy were to be fulfilled. A compromise was reached, under which many of the accused corporate leaders paid fines to the government. Subsequently, there was increased cooperation between corporate and government leaders in modernizing the economy.[4]:152

Government-chaebol cooperation was essential to the subsequent economic growth and astounding successes that began in the early 1960s. Driven by the urgent need to turn the economy away from consumer goods and light industries toward heavy, chemical, and import-substitution industries, political leaders and government planners relied on the ideas and cooperation of chaebol leaders. The government provided the blueprints for industrial expansion; the chaebol realized the plans. However, the chaebol-led industrialization accelerated the monopolistic and oligopolistic concentration of capital and economically profitable activities in the hands of a limited number of conglomerates.[4]

Park used the chaebol as a means towards economic growth. Exports were encouraged, reversing Rhee's policy of reliance on imports. Performance quotas were established.[4]

Chaebols were able to grow because of two factors: foreign loans and special favors. Access to foreign technology also was critical to the growth of the chaebol through the 1980s. Under the guise of "guided capitalism," the government selected companies to undertake projects and channeled funds from foreign loans. The government guaranteed repayment should a company be unable to repay its foreign creditors. Additional loans were made available from domestic banks. In the late 1980s, chaebols dominated the industrial sector and were especially prevalent in manufacturing, trading, and heavy industries.[4]

Chaebols experienced tremendous growth beginning in the early 1960s in connection with the expansion of South Korean exports. Growth resulted from the production of a diversity of goods rather than just one or two products. Innovation and the willingness to develop new product lines were critical. In the 1950s and early 1960s, chaebols concentrated on wigs and textiles; by the mid-1970s and 1980s, heavy, defense, and chemical industries had become predominant. While these activities were important in the early 1990s, real growth was occurring in the electronics and high-technology industries. Chaebols also were responsible for turning the trade deficit in 1985 to a trade surplus in 1986. The current account balance, however, fell from more than US$14 billion in 1988 to US$5 billion in 1989.[4]

Chaebols continued their explosive growth in export markets in the 1980s. By the late 1980s, they had become financially independent and secure, thereby eliminating the need for further government-sponsored credit and assistance.[4]

By the 1990s, South Korea was one of the largest newly industrialised countries and boasted a standard of living comparable to industrialized countries.

Former headquarters of the defunct Daewoo Group, once the second-largest conglomerate in South Korea.

President Kim Young-sam began to challenge the chaebol, but it was not until the 1997 Asian financial crisis that the weaknesses of the system were widely understood. Of the 30 largest chaebol, 11 collapsed between July 1997 and June 1999. Initially, the crisis was caused by a sharp drop in the value of the currency and aside from immediate cash flow concerns for paying foreign debts, the lower cost ultimately helped the stronger chaebols expand their brands to Western markets, but the simultaneous decline of nearby export markets in Southeast Asia, which had been fueling growth made the large debts incurred, for what was now overcapacity, was fatal to many. The remaining chaebols also became far more specialized in their focus. For example, with a population ranked 26th in the world, before the crisis, the country had seven major automobile manufacturers. Afterward, only two major manufacturers remained intact though two additional continued, in a smaller capacity, under General Motors and Renault. Chaebol debts were not only to state industrial banks but also to independent banks and their own financial services subsidiaries. The scale of the loan defaults meant that banks could neither foreclose nor write off bad loans without themselves collapsing, so the failure to service these debts quickly caused a systemic banking crisis, and South Korea turned to the IMF for assistance. The most spectacular example came in mid-1999, with the collapse of the Daewoo Group, which had some US$80 billion in unpaid debt. At the time, it was the largest corporate bankruptcy in history.

Investigations also exposed widespread corruption in the chaebol, particularly fraudulent accounting and bribery.

Still, South Korea recovered quickly from the crisis, and most of the blame for economic problems was shifted to the IMF. The remaining chaebols have grown substantially since the crisis, but they have maintained far lower debt levels.

In 2014, the largest chaebol, Samsung, composed about 17% of the South Korean economy and held roughly US$17 billion in cash. However, recent financial statements of these chaebols actually show that chaebols are slowly losing power over either international competition or internal disruptions from newly emerging startups. Net profit/income of South Korea's top conglomerates has decreased from 2012 to 2015.[7] Not only did their profits stop increasing, but certain chaebols such as LG, have been making losses and losing talent.

Corporate governance[edit]

Management structure[edit]

Some chaebols are one large corporation while others have broken up into loosely connected groups of separate companies sharing a common name. Even in the latter case, each is almost always owned, controlled, or managed by the same family group.

South Korea's chaebols are often compared with Japan's keiretsu business groupings, the successors to the pre-war zaibatsu. While the "chaebol" is similar to the "zaibatsu" (the words share the same hanja/kanji), some major differences have evolved:

  • Chaebols are still largely controlled by their founding families while keiretsu are controlled by groups of professional managers. Chaebol, furthermore, are more family based and family oriented than their Japanese counterparts.
  • Chaebols are centralized in ownership while keiretsu are more decentralized.
  • Chaebols have more often formed subsidiaries to produce components for exports while large Japanese corporations have mostly switched to employing outside contractors.[4]
  • The major structural difference between Korean chaebols and the Japanese keiretsu is that chaebols do not all have their own financial institutions. Most were heavily dependent on government loans and loan guarantees in their early years, and they still have a closer relationship with government than their Japanese counterparts. Chaebols are largely prohibited from owning private banks, partly to spread risk and partly to increase the government's leverage over the banks in areas such as credit allocation. In 1990, government regulations made it difficult for a chaebol to develop an exclusive banking relationship, but following the cascading collapses of the late 1990s, it was somewhat relaxed. Keiretsu have historically worked with an affiliated bank, giving the affiliated companies almost unlimited access to credit,[4] so the economic problems for which the Japanese have been known is zombie banks rather than a systemic banking crises. However, many of the largest keiretsu have diversified their debt practices, and public bond sales have become somewhat common.

The chaebol model is heavily reliant on a complex system of interlocking ownership. The owner, with the help of family members, family-owned charities, and senior managers from subsidiaries, has to control only three of four public companies, who themselves control other companies that control subsidiaries. A good example of this practice would be the owner of Doosan, who controlled more than 20 subsidiaries with only a minor participation in about 5 companies.[8]


The chairman of a typical chaebol possesses a small portion of equity in the companies under the large umbrella of the chaebol but is very powerful in making decisions and controls all management. For example, Samsung owns 0.5% in the group's listed firms. That demonstrates a lack in the rule of law.[3] The method that allows this type of possession is called cross-holding, which is a horizontal and vertical structure that enhances the control of the chairman.[9]

Workplace culture[edit]

The typical culture at one of these conglomerates is highly paternalistic in nature. Much of the environment is defined by the chairman who acts as a "fatherly-figure" to his subordinates. This can be traced back to the infusion of Neo-Confucian values that permeate Korean society. A chaebol head's demeanor towards his employee can be described as "loving" while maintaining "sternness and a sense of responsibility". Workers commit to long hours, most notably on weekends and holidays, in order to appease their superiors.[10] Company outings and drinking sessions tend to be compulsory as to foster a sense of family and belonging among employees. Employers believe that enhancing a common bond between them would translate into prosperity and productivity for the company. Other practices that would be uncommon for Western workplaces to engage in include gift-giving to employees and arranging dates for workers in search of relationships or marriage. Chaebols are notoriously hierarchical. As such, it is unusual for an individual to challenge or question the decision-making of his or her boss. This dynamic adds to the culture that orients itself around whoever is in charge; but can lead to undesirable circumstances. For example, the Asiana flight 214 crash led critics to speculate that cultural factors prevented a pilot on board from aborting the low-speed landing and thus straying from his superior's commands.[11] Promotion is rarely merit based. Rather, it is through order of age and time served to the conglomerate. This is reflected by the fact that most executives are far older than their employees. If a worker does not attain an executive or senior-management role by the age of fifty, he or she is commonly forced into resignation. Again, this is attributable to the age-hierarchy dynamics in Korean Confucian culture. A typical firm heavily emphasizes loyalty to the firm, as demonstrated in the standard recruiting process. Newly acquired employees undergo an intense initiation that includes activities such as training camps and singing company unique songs that reiterate the production goals of the firm.[10]


Even though the chaebol system helped bring about rapid growth and helped Korea launch itself on the international stage, it caused negative impacts on the Korean economy.

Emergence and inflation[edit]

The origins of the chaebol system in South Korea come as a consequence of the Korean War. The war resulted in much destruction and halted industrial production, which led the government to print money to pay for the war and meet requirements of the United Nations forces for the Korean currency, all of which caused mass inflation. This inflation caused many commodity prices to double every six months.

The government had to react and so devised a plan in providing strong financial incentives to private companies between the 1960s and 1970s. These included the government's choosing to select various family businesses to distribute the incentives (imported raw materials, commodities, bank loans). The impact was immediate, and most of the businesses flourished rapidly. The protection of infant companies allowed them to develop because of the highly regulated market, which prevented foreign companies from entering.[12] Many companies that were not in the circle of businesses saw the system as flawed and corrupted.[3] While these problems resemble "crony capitalism" problems common in developing countries, corruption scandals have periodically occurred in all chaebols.

Internal market transactions accountability[edit]

Because the government gave out incentives to help businesses, it had a lot of control over them. However, there was no way to ensure the businesses would use the incentives in an effective and efficient manner.[3] In other words, there was no external monitoring system to monitor chaebols and ensure that they were efficient in the allocation of resources.[13] All businesses undertake internal market transactions, which constitute "purchase and sale of intermediate inputs, the provision and receipt of loan collaterals, and the provision and receipt of payment guarantees among member firms in a business group".[14] There is the question of efficiency, especially in production and management. Therefore, the chaebol system was not very transparent. Behind the scenes, businesses were provided with subsidiary financing and intragroup transactions. This allowed them easy loans to cover for their deficits, and prior to the 1997 Asian financial crisis, huge debts had accumulated, many of which were hidden. That gave the illusion that the system was flourishing into the 1990s.[3]

"Too big to fail"[edit]

During the 1997 Asian financial crisis, bankers feared that chaebols would go bankrupt so they allowed these businesses to roll over their loans each time they were unable to repay their debts. Many did not believe that the chaebols were capable of collapsing and that the more they borrowed, the safer they were.

However, the theory was proven wrong when many businesses collapsed during the crisis. Since they were linked through debt guarantees, many of the companies fell in a chain reaction.[3] The focus on capacity expansion created debt that was manageable when the economy was growing. However, when the economy stalled, debt-to-equity ratios became a huge problem.[15]

Since the crisis, chaebols now have less debt and are less vulnerable to similar crises, as was demonstrated in the 2008 crisis. With the growth of the fewer remaining chaebols, however, each now occupies a larger portion of the economy.

Monopolistic behavior[edit]

The protectionist policies and preferable government treatment granted Chaebols the ability to exhibit monopolistic behavior. The absence of a market free of intervention meant that "true competition" became a rarity in South Korea. Especially in the era prior to the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the only products available to the Korean people were those made by Chaebols. Therefore, the social fabric of the country lacked a welcoming culture towards entrepreneurship. The intensity and extent of market concentration became evident as 80% of the country's GDP is derived from Chaebols. The largest of the group, Samsung, exports 20% of South Korea's goods and services alone. Although no longer financially supported by the government, these firms have attained economies of scale on such a massive level that it is extremely difficult for a startup or small or medium enterprise (SME) to surmount the high barriers to entry. A majority of these smaller companies ended up becoming acquired by the Chaebols, thereby further stacking their size and economic dominance. During recent years a growing tend to scale globally has increased among aspiring Korean entrepreneurs.[16] Conversely, Chaebols have also been moving money abroad with the tacit endorsement of the South Korean government and investing in commercial enterprises, particularly in Koreatown Manhattan, New York City.[17]

To this day, Chaebols maintain dominance across all industries. Reductions in tariffs and removal of trade regulations designed to protect Korean conglomerates have led to increasing competition from abroad. However, among domestic firms, Chaebols have kept their market share intact. Most notably, Apple's entry into the smartphone market pressured rival Samsung into diversifying its revenue streams from overseas. All but 3 of the top 50 firms listed on the Korean Stock Exchange are designated as Chaebols.[10] Consequently, Chaebols have more bargaining power and often take pricing action that squeezes both suppliers and consumers. Typically the firms down the supply chain fail to increase their profit margins enough to expand and thus never see growth. Collusion among Chaebols is commonplace. Price-fixing acts mean consumers expect to pay an inflated value for most goods and services.[10] For instance, in 2012 Samsung and LG Electronics were fined for colluding to raise prices for home appliances.[18]

Government ties, corruption and abuse of power[edit]

South Korean President Park Geun-hye at a breakfast meeting with business magnates Lee Kun-hee and Chung Mong-koo.

Since the inception of the chaebol, the government has been closely involved in its affairs. Many of the reforms enacted over the years, especially those under President Kim Dae-Jung, have cracked down on kickbacks and preferential treatment. Moreover, the state is no longer a majority shareholder of any chaebol.[10] But their sheer size and wealth has been used to gain influence. For the most part, the government sees the function of chaebols as crucial to the Korean economy. When President Lee Myung-Bak took office, he pardoned Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-Hee for tax evasion. President Lee then proceeded to champion pro-chaebol deals, including a nuclear energy contract with the city of Abu Dhabi, and loosened laws preventing the conglomerates from owning financial services companies.[19] Samsung's leader is not the only chaebol chairman to be excused from a crime conviction. Choi Tae-Won of SK Group, Chung Mong-Koo of Hyundai, Kim Seung-Youn of Hanwha, and Shin Dong-bin of Lotte[20] are a few examples of chairmen who have been charged, convicted, or are currently serving a prison sentence for white-collar crime. Accusations include bribery, tax evasion, accounting fraud, embezzlement, and violent crime.[21] Typically chaebol chairmen are pardoned. 15 August is recognized in South Korea as Liberation Day. This is when the president forgives the chairmen for their infractions in order to ensure they remain in power of their companies.[22] In the rare case that an executive is sentenced to prison, as the CEOs of SK and CJ group were, it is typically a relatively light punishment of up to 4 years depending on the charge.[23]

Collusion between chaebol members and the government granted preferential statuses to the companies. A chaebol would funnel bribes to politicians and bureaucrats through slush funds and illegal donations. This could help maintain the government's position of power, allowing them to secure contracts for major government projects and provide favorable treatment to the donor firm.[24] Examples of this type of corruption were widespread in the years leading up to the 1997 financial crisis. Many of the firms that benefited from this relationship were too indebted, had poor corporate governance, and were inefficient. There was a huge inflow of capital and bending of regulation in favor of these problematic firms. Hanbo Group, formerly South Korea's second-largest steel-maker, is a good example of this. In the 1990s the company paid for special arrangements with high-ranking politicians so that it could secure contracts for large government projects over its competitors. Hanbo went bankrupt in 1997 after defaulting on debt payments along with other governance issues. Numerous chaebol companies had similar private agreements with the government in this fashion. It would be most common in companies dealing with heavy industries or projects that involved government procurement and urban planning. In the past, most successful political elections were won with chaebol support. Each time a new administration or regime stepped in, it would gear its policy platform towards chaebol revitalization.[24] This was under the claim that in order to be a competitive economy more power must be given to the chaebols. In recent years, the leading political parties of South Korea have reversed their pro-large corporate stance to one of economic diversification.


It has been questioned whether real reform is possible.[25]

IMF agreement[edit]

Under Kim Dae-Jung and in the wake of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, many reforms were made to the chaebols. Most of these changes pertained to corporate structure, transparency in financial reporting, corporate governance, and debt stabilization. In 1997, the IMF provided a bailout loan of $60 billion conditional on revision.[10] Distressed financial institutions were to be closed down and those that were deemed viable were to be restructured and recapitalized by the levels it set forth. This affected the chaebol because it severely restricted its easy access to financing that led to over leveraged balance sheets.[26] Lenient accounting practices and disclosure rules were to be strengthened and standardized for international practice. Hence, transparency was increased to what would be expected from a public company. The chaebols agreed to be subject to independent auditors and were obligated to provide consolidated financial statements on a regular basis.[24]

Government-led reforms and 2008 crisis[edit]

Kim Dae-Jung enacted what is known as the "Five Principles of Corporate Governance".[26] These were the enhancement of management transparency, strengthening owner-manager accountability, elimination of cross-debt guarantees among chaebol affiliates, improvement of capital structures, and consolidation of core business areas. In his plans, debt to equity ratios were to be below 200%. Chaebol subsidiaries that were debt-laden or on the verge of bankruptcy were instructed to be either liquidated, sold, or put up for merger. Each chaebol-holding group had to break up its subsidiaries and operations so that they were more manageable.[24] By the end of 1997, each had an average of 26.8 subsidiaries. It was hoped that if there were fewer activities, the quality of the remaining businesses would see improvement. Many unrelated branches to their core competencies were swiftly shed. If any of the conglomerates failed to meet the conditions by the set deadlines, strict sanctions would be passed against them. During the 2008 Financial crisis, many of these reforms ensured chaebols' quick recovery.[26] Having had exposure to a massive recession before, they learned to cope better than those in foreign countries. With significantly healthier balance sheets and higher cash reserves, the chaebols were able to avoid any liquidity issues. Moreover, with fewer subsidiaries they were less exposed to the full scope of the crisis and thus helped keep the Korean economy afloat.[24]

President Roh Moo Hyun pushed for even more extensive reform.[26] His administration passed stringent regulations on fraudulent accounting, stock manipulation, and irregular wealth succession. Chaebols were forced to improve objectivity on their board of directors. Rather than having the decision-makers be insiders, affiliates, or family members, chaebols were expected to hold representation who reflected the interests of investors, especially minority shareholders who gained a significant number of rights. As a result, it became easier for chaebols to raise capital through equity rather than riskier debt. This is because the new transparency laws and restructuring boosted investor confidence from abroad.[10]


Laws were passed to limit the expansion of chaebol:

  • Law for separate finance from industry (ko:금산분리법 ; 金産分離法 : Chaebols may no longer have banks since 1982
  • Law for limit of investment (출자총액제한; 出資總額制限 : A chaebol's growth by M&A) was limited until 2009
  • Law for limit of assurance (상호출자채무보증제한; 相互出資債務保證制限 : A law defends the insolvency of a chaebol's affiliates

Formally, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC; 공정거래위원회; 公正去來委員會) announces a limited chaebol list every year as size of industrial assets (not including financial companies).[27]

  • Appointment: Korea Fair Trade Commission
  • Inclusion: industrial groups (assets: 5 trillion won, more)
  • Exclusion: bank and financial groups

Chaebols with limited assurance (상호출자제한기업집단; 相互出資制限企業集團)

  • Year Chaebols Affiliates: Assets
  • 2007 : 62  : 1,196 Ent : 979.7 trillion won (Not include bank and financial group by South Korean law)
  • 2008 : 79  : 1,680 Ent : 1,161.5 trillion won (more than 2 trillion won)
  • 2009 : 48  : 1,137 Ent : 1,310.6 trillion won (more than 5 trillion won)
  • Samsung Group's total assets are 317 trillion won, but the FTC recognizes only 174 trillion won that excludes the financial subsidiary.
  • Nonghyup's total assets are 400 trillion won, but the FTC recognizes only 2 trillion won, which excludes financial assets because Nonghyup is a financial group by South Korean law.

Chaebols by revenue[edit]

The following charts list chaebols in order by different categories.

  • Management : chaebols controlled by the owner's family or the largest shareholders
Chaebols by family groups Won Euro Total Assets Family Groups
Samsung family group 252 Trillion 206 billion 348.7 Shinsegae + CJ + Hansol + JoongAng Groups
Hyundai family group 203 Trillion 166 billion 204.4 Motors + Heavy + insurance + trading
LG family group 191 Trillion 156 billion 148.4 LG 115 + GS 49.8 + LS 20.5 + LIG 6.5 Groups (Revenue)
  • Business Area: a chaebol that has several monopolies.
Chaebols by each Groups Won Euro Total Assets Industries
Samsung Group 221 trillion 180 billion 317.5 Electronics, insurance, card, construction & shipbuilding
LG Corporation 115 trillion 94 billion 69.5 Electronics, display, chemicals, telecom & trade
Hyundai Motor Group 107 trillion 87.5 billion 128.7 Automobiles, steel & trading
SK Group 105 trillion 85.85 billion 85.9 Energy, telecom, trading, construction & semiconductors
GS Group 49.8 trillion 40.7 billion 39.0 Energy, retail & construction
Lotte Corporation 41.4 trillion 33.85 billion 54.9 Construction, food, energy, hospitality & retail
Hyundai Heavy Industries Group 31.3 trillion 25.6 billion 42.8 Heavy industry (including Hyundai Mipo Dockyard)
Hanwha 27.24 trillion 22.27 billion 75.7 Explosives, energy, aerospace, chemicals, & insurance
Hanjin 26.1 trillion 21.34 billion 29.1 Aviation & logistics
Kumho Asiana Group 23.4 trillion 19.13 billion 43.9 Construction, & retail
Doosan 21.4 trillion 17.5 billion 32.7 Heavy industry, energy[28]
  • Organization: a chaebol that has other chaebols as affiliates
Chaebols by each unit Won Total Assets Industries
Samsung Electronics 121.2943 105.3 Electronics, LCD, TV, mobile phone, semiconductor[29]
LG Holdings 90.2224 64.7 Holding (consolidated result by share rate)[30]
SK Holdings 88.8249 68.9 Holding (consolidated result by share rate)[31]
Hyundai Motors 79.7363 103.2 Motors[32]
LG Electronics 63.2803 42.3 Electronics, LCD, TV, mobile phone, air conditioner[33]
SK Energy 52.6063 24.9 Energy[34]
GS Caltex 34.4242 18.0 Energy[35]
Hyundai Heavy Industries Group 27.4835 38.3 Heavy industry (excluding Hyundai Mipo Dockyard)[36]
Samsung Life 25.2948 121.6 insurance[37]
SK Networks 22.6516 9.0 Trade[38]
Kia Motors 22.2176 25.5 Motors[39]
LS Group 20.5330 14.5 Steel, cable & energy[40]
Samsung C&T Corporation 20.4834 15.4 Trade & construction[41]
Doosan Heavy Industries 19.2317 30.1 Heavy industry (including Doosan Infracore)[42]
LG Display 16.2636 17.3 LCD[43]
Hyundai Oil Bank 14.8347 4.8 Energy[44]
Booyoung Group 21.7155 15.7 Construction
LG Chem 14.5548 9.3 Chemistry[45]
Daelim Group 14.5000 11.0 MotorCycle, Construction & Petrochemical
DB Group 15.4950 24.7 Semiconductor, Steel & insurance
SK Telecom 14.0209 22.4 Telecom[46]
Hyundai Mobis 13.8472 10.4 Motor parts[47]
Kyobo Life 13.5155 47.8 insurance (07)[48]
Daehan Life 12.7776 50.9 insurance (08) Hanwha Group's company[49]
Lotte Shopping 12.8393 16.9 Shopping[50]
CJ Group 12.4100 12.3 Food & shopping
Daewoo Shipbuilding 12.2207 17.4 Shipbuilding[51]
Samsung Fire 11.8633 23.0 insurance[52]
POSCO Daewoo 11.4263 3.4 Trade[53]
LG International 11.2626 3.7 Trade[54]
Hyundai Steel 11.2519 12.2 Steel[55]
Shinsegae 11.0520 10.7 Shopping[56]
Samsung Heavy Industries 10.6895 26.5 Shipbuilding[57]
Korean Air 10.4844 17.7 Hanjin Group's company[58]
LS Cable 10.4560 7.6 Cable[59]
NH Nonghyup insurance 10.1827 27.8 Insurance[60]
Kumho E&C 10.1335 18.6 Construction[61]
  • Consolidated IR Reports : DART (Data Analysis, Retrieval and Transfer System : 전자공시시스템) of Financial Supervisory Service (금융감독원)
  • Korea has about 100 chaebols (more than 5 trillion won) by revenue.
  • Korea's total financial assets was 8,665 trillion (equivalent to ₩10,077.84 trillion or US$8.92 trillion in 2017)[62] in 2009 by The Bank of Korea's report[63]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "chaebol". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Chaebol". Dictionary by Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Jung, Dong-Hyeon (August 2004). "Korean Chaebol in Transition". China Report. 40 (3): 299–303. doi:10.1177/000944550404000306.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Savada, Andrea Matles, ed. (1992). South Korea: A country study (4th ed.). Washington: Federal Research Division, Library of Congress. ISBN 0-8444-0736-4. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  5. ^ "Hyundai's $500 Million Payments to North Korea: A Bribe or Business Deal?" (PDF). Korea WebWeekly. 9 February 2003.
  6. ^ Lee, Joyce (30 October 2017). "Samsung Electronics names new-generation leaders as profit soars". Reuters. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  7. ^ Pasquier, Martin (June 2016). "Can South Korean Startups (and the government) Save its Flailing Giant Tech Conglomerates?". Innovation is Everywhere. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  8. ^ Kim, Dong-Woon (April 2003). "Interlocking Ownership in the Korean Chaebol". Corporate Governance: An International Review. 11 (2): 132–142. doi:10.1111/1467-8683.00014.
  9. ^ Moskalev, Sviatoslav; Park, Seung Chan (March 2010). "South Korean Chaebols and Value-Based Management". Journal of Business Ethics. 92: 49–62. doi:10.1007/s10551-009-0138-5.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Tudor, Daniel (2012). Korea: The Impossible Country. UK: Tuttle.
  11. ^ "Asiana Airlines seeks cockpit culture changer after U.S. crash". Reuters. 10 February 2017. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  12. ^ Beck, Peter M. (November 1998). "Revitalizing Korea's Chaebol". Asian Survey. 38 (11): 1018–1035. doi:10.1525/as.1998.38.11.01p0405n.
  13. ^ Park, Seung-Rok; Yuhn, Ky-hyang (2012). "Has the Korean Model of Chaebol Succeeded?". Journal of Economic Studies. 39 (2): 260–274. doi:10.1108/01443581211222680.
  14. ^ Park, Seung-Rok; Yuhn, Ky-hyang (April 2011). "Has the Korean chaebol model succeeded?". Journal of Economic Studies. 39 (2): 260–274. doi:10.1108/01443581211222680.
  15. ^ Akaba, Yuji; Budde, Florian; Jungkiu Choi (1 December 1998). "Restructuring South Korea's Chaebol". McKinsey Quarterly (4): 68–79. Retrieved 13 February 2013.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ Ernst & Young. "EY G20 Country Report 2013 South Korea" (PDF). Ernst & Young.
  17. ^ Sam Kim, photography by Gary He (31 July 2018). "NYC's K-Town Isn't What It Used to Be". Vox Media. Retrieved 21 November 2018. Most mom-and-pops are gone, and 32nd Street is now dominated by chains due to high rents and policies in Korea itself.
  18. ^ "LCD makers fined $388 million for alleged price fixing". CNET. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  19. ^ "Return of the overlord". The Economist. 31 March 2010. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  20. ^ Sang-hun, Choe (19 October 2016). "Family Behind Korean Conglomerate Lotte Is Indicted in Corruption Case". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  21. ^ Fickling, David (7 July 2016). "Don't Fret Over the Chaebol". Bloomberg Gadfly. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  22. ^ Jun, Ji-hye (18 July 2017). "Liberation Day presidential pardons unlikely". The Korea Times. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  23. ^ "To those that have". The Economist. 18 April 2015. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  24. ^ a b c d e Lee, Phil-Sang (2000). "Economic Crisis and Chaebol Reform in Korea". APEC Study Center. Discussion Paper Series, Columbia Business School.
  25. ^ Vaswani, Karishma (24 April 2017). "Is real reform possible at South Korea's chaebols?". BBC News. Archived from the original on 30 December 2020. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  26. ^ a b c d Chekan, Kate. "Korea and the Great Recession: The Effects of Chaebol Reform on South Korea's Recovery from the 2008 Financial Crisis" (PDF). Johns Hopkins University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 February 2014.
  27. ^ S. Lew (17 December 2013). The Korean Economic Developmental Path: Confucian Tradition, Affective Network. Springer. pp. 106–. ISBN 978-1-137-34729-9.
  28. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  29. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  30. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  31. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  32. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  33. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  34. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  35. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  36. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  37. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  38. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  39. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  40. ^ [1] Archived October 17, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  41. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  42. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  43. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  44. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  45. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  46. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  47. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  48. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  49. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  50. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  51. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  52. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  53. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  54. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  55. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  56. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  57. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  58. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  59. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  60. ^ NH농협 대한민국 NO.1 유통 금융리더::::[dead link]
  61. ^ "연 결 손 익 계 산 서" (in Korean). Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  62. ^ 1906 to 1911: Williamson J., Nominal Wage, Cost of Living, Real Wage and Land Rent Data for Korea 1906-1939 1912 to 1939: Mizoguchi, T. (1972). CONSUMER PRICES AND REAL WAGES IN TAIWAN AND KOREA UNDER JAPANESE RULE. Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, 13(1), 40-56. Retrieved May 21, 2021. Afterwards, consumer Price index from Statistics Korea. Consumer Price Index by year. Retrieved 3 April 2018
  63. ^ Archived 2015-09-23 at the Wayback Machine[full citation needed]