Samsung was founded by Lee Byung-chul (1910–1987) in 1938 as a trading company located in what is now Ingyo-dong in South Korea. He named his business Samsung Danghoe Daegu which focused on trade export, selling dried Korean fish, vegetables and fruit to Manchuria and Beijing.

The business prospered well and in 1947 he moved the company’s head office to Seoul. From there he diversified into sugar refining, wool mills, paper products, publishing, insurance, securities, and retail. It was not until 1969 that the company began producing cheap black and white televisions, microwave ovens and other such consumer products.

Samsung further diversified into the electronics, communications and information technology, construction, shipbuilding, insurance, advertising, banking and theme park resort industries. As of 2017, Samsung had the 6th highest global brand value.

It was not until the late 80s and early 90s that Lee Byung-chul’s successor, his son Lee Kun-Hee, made significant investments in research and development to drive the company to the forefront in the global electronics industry.

From origins in dried fish, Samsung has become a major influence on South Korea's economic development, politics, media and culture and in several global markets.

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