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The Korea Now Podcast

Apr 19, 2020

This episode of the Korea Now podcast features an interview that Jed Lea-Henry conducted with Geoffrey Cain. They speak about the origins and foundation of Samsung, its expansion into becoming an international conglomerate, the dynastic planning and building of the ruling family into Korean aristocracy, the explicit patriotic ideology of the company, the alliances and close knit relationships with successive authoritarian and democratic governments, Samsung’s move into semiconductors and eventually the smartphone market, its battles with Sony and later Apple for global market shares, the near-religious corporate culture that exists within the company, the rigid and restrictive hierarchy, the 2015 scandal over mergers and share sales to secure the position of Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong (Jay Lee) as head of the company, the political scandal involving former-President Park Geun-hye and her friend Choi Soon-sil, and what the future looks like for Samsung and its place within the world of technological innovation.

Geoffrey Cain is an award-winning foreign correspondent, author, commentator, anthropologist and scholar of East and Central Asia. A former correspondent at The Economist, Cain is a regular commentator in The Wall Street Journal, Time, Foreign Policy, The New Republic and The Nation, and a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, BBC and Bloomberg. Geoffrey is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a security fellow at the Truman National Security Project. His first book, Samsung Rising: The Inside Story of the South Korean Giant That Set Out to Beat Apple and Conquer Tech, from a decade of his coverage of the world’s largest technology conglomerate, was published in March 2020 by Currency at Penguin Random House.

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