Executive Briefings

Galaxy Note 7 Recall May Threaten South Korea's Reputation, Economy

A former South Korean teacher, Kim Jeong-min was at Narita Airport in Japan this month when he watched a television news report that Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 smartphone was banned on airplanes because it was prone to catching fire. Kim, 58, said he had felt humiliated, as if the non-Koreans in the airport lounge were looking at him.

Galaxy Note 7 Recall May Threaten South Korea's Reputation, Economy

Though he does not own a Galaxy Note 7, his reaction was typical of the intense feelings South Koreans hold toward Samsung, the most dramatic corporate success story to emerge from the country's transformation from a war-torn agrarian nation to a global economic powerhouse.

"Whether we like it or not, Samsung is to the global market what our national team is in the Olympics," Kim said.

Calling Samsung this country’s biggest and most profitable company hardly describes its special (but not always favorable) place in minds here. Some South Koreans say they live in the “Republic of Samsung.”

Life can literally begin and end with Samsung: One can be born in a Samsung hospital; attend a Samsung university; honeymoon in a Samsung hotel; stock a Samsung-built apartment with Samsung appliances bought with a Samsung credit card; take children to Samsung amusement parks; and have one’s body, upon death, taken to a Samsung funeral center.

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Though he does not own a Galaxy Note 7, his reaction was typical of the intense feelings South Koreans hold toward Samsung, the most dramatic corporate success story to emerge from the country's transformation from a war-torn agrarian nation to a global economic powerhouse.

"Whether we like it or not, Samsung is to the global market what our national team is in the Olympics," Kim said.

Calling Samsung this country’s biggest and most profitable company hardly describes its special (but not always favorable) place in minds here. Some South Koreans say they live in the “Republic of Samsung.”

Life can literally begin and end with Samsung: One can be born in a Samsung hospital; attend a Samsung university; honeymoon in a Samsung hotel; stock a Samsung-built apartment with Samsung appliances bought with a Samsung credit card; take children to Samsung amusement parks; and have one’s body, upon death, taken to a Samsung funeral center.

Read Full Article

Galaxy Note 7 Recall May Threaten South Korea's Reputation, Economy