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The South Korean company has been involved in various different industries over more than 74 years of operation, including import/export trading, food processing, textile manufacturing, insurance brokering, securities trading, retail, and, most recently, construction, shipbuilding, and the electronics industry.
It is arguably this last area of operation, and in particular the production of mobile phones and computer accessories, for which Samsung is best known among the general public today.
Samsung was founded in 1938 in Taegu, Korea, by entrepreneur and businessman Byung-Chull Lee. The name ‘Samsung’ translates roughly to ‘three stars’, and was chosen partly due to the significance of the number three in traditional Korean numerology. The company’s initial focus was the trade export business, selling dried Korean fish, vegetables, and fruit to Beijing and Manchuria, as well as producing its own noodles.
The outbreak of the Korean war forced the company to move away from exports and led to the construction of a large sugar mill, and later a wool mill (the largest in the country), that would establish the company as a major player in the Asian market.