Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae Young De facto head Since his father had a heart attack in 2014, Samsung Group’s Released on parole Six months after serving the 30-month sentence, this Friday.This is as follows International pressure from American companies, Because Samsung is currently looking at potential US semiconductor factories.
First, some context. Li is about to be released on parole. This is actually his second early release from prison. He was sent to prison for the first time in 2017 and served about five years in prison. He ordered a retrial in 2019. After the retrial, the heir returned to prison in January this year. Jae-Young’s father Lee Kun-Hee died during Jae-Young’s release, leaving Jae-Young as his only son, and may soon become the official heir of the Samsung Empire .
Jae-Young was initially imprisoned for trying to bribe former South Korean President Park Geun-hye and a friend of hers who is now being deported. Successor scandal After his father had a heart attack in 2014. The idea here is to get the former president to support the merger between the two Samsung Group subsidiaries, which will allow Jae-Young to acquire more official shares in the larger Samsung Electronics Company. This is because when Jae-Young led Samsung in practice, he could not claim his father’s shares in a larger company before Kun-Hee’s death. This makes the heirs less than 1% of the actual ownership of the company before the merger.
All this stems from South Korea’s chaebol business system. The family divides corporate holdings into different subgroups, and each member can get a share of the pie.
For the US semiconductor industry, Samsung’s planned investment in US semiconductor production is very important.The Biden administration recently announced its $50 billion plan Given the continuing shortage of semiconductors.Samsung is one of them The world’s largest chip manufacturer, Currently under investigation Build a semiconductor fab In Austin (where there is already a fab), Phoenix and New York, this will only strengthen President Biden’s efforts.
It is speculated that in order to maintain Samsung’s continued interest in investing in the United States, the American Chamber of Commerce wrote to South Korea’s current President Moon Jae-in in early May this year, stating: “We believe that pardoning Samsung’s most important executives is the best option. The United States and South Korea. The interests of the people.” The time of receipt of this letter coincided with the summit between Moon Jae-in and President Biden in Washington later this week.
Although the timing is obvious, we cannot say with certainty how much foreign influence played in Li’s early release.South Korea has a history of pardoning convicted business owners, as demonstrated by Chey Tae-Won, the head of SK Group Out of prison In 2015, he was convicted of embezzling company funds.
However, Lee’s parole did break the South Korean Ministry of Justice’s model, which mainly allows prisoners to serve at least 70% of their sentences before they are eligible for parole.according to New York TimesThe Ministry of Justice stated shortly before Li’s release that it would “make it easier for prisoners with good behavior to apply for parole”, although time will tell whether this method applies to prisoners other than Li.
But according to BloombergAttorney General Park Pham Ki announced that the authorities approved Lee’s parole not only because of his “good attitude” while in prison, but also because of public sentiment and the impact of Covid-19 on the country and the global economy.
according to Associated PressOpinion polls show that the South Korean public, South Korean business leaders, and President Moon’s own government largely support Lee Myung-bak’s release. This may be because Samsung can bring power to the resurgent electronics industry.
However New York Times There are reports that during the review of Lee’s parole, activists still gathered outside the Ministry of Justice, holding signs that discourage the leniency of corrupt business tycoons.
This is not the first time that the Li family has danced with the judicial system, because his father in England has been convicted twice for corruption and tax evasion.he is pardon twice.