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Samsung is a South Korean multinational business conglomerate based in Samsung Town, Seoul. A number of businesses and subsidiaries are united under the Samsung brand, making it the largest South Korean multinational enterprise.

The most prominent Samsung subsidiaries are Samsung Electronics (which is also the world’s largest It company by revenue), Samsung Engineering, Samsung Heavy Industries and Samsung C&T. All of the Samsung subsidiaries rank among the most successful companies in their fields.

The Samsung corporation is responsible for roughly one fifth of South Korea’s exports, and its revenues are even large enough to rival many countries’ GDP. According to data collected in 2006, if Samsung were a country, it would have been the world’s 35th largest economy. Consequently, the company is very influential in South Korea’s political, economic and social mediums, as well as one of the driving factors of South Korea’s exponential economic growth over the last 50 years, which is also known as the Miracle on the Han River.

Samsung has consistently been a market leader for consumer electronics, managing to even surpass the Japanese giant Sony in 2004 and 2005. Recent Samsung news releases state that the company has succeeded in surpassing Apple, to become the worlds most important smartphone manufacturer. This occurred soon after Samsung had announced their new 10-year growth strategy that focuses on strengthening five main businesses, including one in biopharmaceuticals. Samsung’s investment in biotechnology is estimated at about 2.1 trillion South Korean won.

Samsung also invests about 1000 million dollars per year in the Samsung Medical Center, which is a non-profit organization founded in 1994. The Medical Center is comprised of three hospital units, two cancer centers and a research center, with Samsung’s Seoul Cancer Center being the largest of its kind in Asia. According to reports, the pharmaceuticals company Pfizer has agreed to collaborate with Samsung on a research project aimed at identifying some of the genetic mechanisms behind liver cancer.

The Korean name Samsung would translate to “three stars”. Its founder, Lee Byung-chull, explained that the name was meant to be reminiscent of something large, powerful and eternal.

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