The Nikkei Asian Review published special edition on Samsung as the pressure on the company turned up by the latest bribery scandal.
Tax avoidance scandals and suspicions of bribery are not new to the company. The latest scandal around Samsung is caused by the arrest warrant for the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, Lee Jae-yong. The vice chairman is suspected of paying 43 billion won ($37,3 million) to two foundations that are controlled by Choi-Soon-sil, a longtime friend of President Park Guen-hye, in return of political favors.
People often refer to the ‘Republic of Samsung’ since the company has high influence in South Korea. Its total assets account for one-fifth of the GDP of the country. Kim Sang-bong, a philosophy professor at Chonnam University in Gwangju, interviewed by Nikkei Asian Review, compares Samsung with North Korea, where the ‘great leader’ is above the law in the country.
This does not mean that Samsung is always respected by South Korean citizens. Former employees and their family members have been organizing in sit-in rallies in front of Samsung’s office in Gangnam, for over a year now. They demand an apology and compensation for workers at its semiconductor factory who have been diagnosed with leukemia.
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