Samsung chief Lee arrested as South Korean corruption probe deepens


Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee was arrested on Friday over his alleged role in a corruption scandal rocking the highest levels of power in South Korea, dealing a fresh blow to the technology giant and standard-bearer for Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

The special prosecutor’s office accuses Lee of bribing a close friend of President Park Geun-hye to gain government favors related to leadership succession at the conglomerate. It said on Friday it will indict him on charges including bribery, embezzlement, hiding assets overseas and perjury.

Samsung’s leadership has failed them. Thanking the stars above Apple has Tim.

  • Alex Hon

    These “accusations” doesn’t have anything to do with Apple.. Am I missing something?

    • llahnoraa

      @dave – What does “stars” have to do with Apple and Tim? Am I really missing something?

    • Mo

      Yes. Samsung is a major player in several categories that directly affect Apple’s business. Samsung has a long history of profiting from theft and high-level corruption.

      • Alex Hon

        I hope Apple will be able to sever most if not all joint ventures and partnerships with Samsung in the next decade.. Wishful thinking?

        • Mo

          Depends upon the supply chain. How many Samsung-built components go into Apple products? How many realistic alternatives does Apple have for them? What are Apple’s current obligations that might prevent such a change?

          • Alex Hon

            Apple probably had to commit to investing hundreds of millions of dollars to fund the equipment and facilities that produce important components like RAM, SSD, A-series chips, etc. In return, Apple gets guaranteed availability and priority for long periods of time.

            However, as Apple creates new product categories, the new components required can be sourced from Samsung competitors, and as old contracts expire, Apple can hopefully identify alternative suppliers and not renew with Samsung.

    • Dave Mark

      Maybe I needed to be more explicit. Samsung’s leadership has failed them. Just made me appreciate the fact that Apple has such strong leadership. Make more sense?

      • I’m not sure it’s failure. It’s worth understanding the chaebol system in Korea and how Samsung is almost a quasi-economy onto itself:

        Arguably, they went too far but the “corruption” is so endemic in how said companies operate in the Korean business climate that this is probably only going to solve the surface of it.

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  • StruckPaper

    South Korea and USA are very different nations and cultures. It is in fact very difficult to run a conglomerate like Samsung without bribing someone directly or indirectly. Not to say that Tim Cook would be in handcuffs if he were head of Samsung. But it behooves us not to use a simple outsider optics to judge Cook a better man.

    • Mo

      What do you believe are the “outsider optics” of a company that copies and commoditizes other firms’ original work, then bankrupts them with endless stalling in court? Perhaps we can ask all the other companies Samsung did this sort of thing to, before iPhone came along.

      • drx1

        to be “fair”, Samsung is not the only company that operates this way – though they may be one of the biggest and more egregious companies to act this way.

        Good thing Apple is strong enough to shrug most of Samsung’s shenanigans off. A few billion USD will not effect things much – for either company…

        • Mo

          I’m glad you put “fair” in quotes.

    • Eugene

      Nope, I’m pretty sure in this case that simple outsider optics and more detailed insider optics are the same. Corruption runs deep in Korea due to the much more authoritarian leanings of the country, and Samsung is one of the prime drivers of keeping the culture of corruption going.