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Samsung's History

From its inception as a small export business in Taegu, Korea, Samsung has grown to become one of the world's leading electronics companies, specializing in digital appliances and media, semiconductors, memory, and system integration. Today Samsung's innovative and top quality products and processes are world recognized. This timeline captures the major milestones in Samsung's history, showing how the company expanded its product lines and reach, grew its revenue and market share, and has followed its mission of making life better for consumers around the world.

1997-1999 Advancing the Digital Frontier

Despite the 1997 financial crisis that affected nearly all Korean businesses, Samsung was one of few companies that continued growing, thanks to its leadership in digital and network technologies and its steady concentration on electronics, finances, and related services.

Samsung responded to the crisis by reducing the number of its affiliated companies to 45 (according to the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act), decreasing personnel by almost 50,000, selling 10 business units, and improving the soundness of its financial structure, lowering its 365 percent debt ratio in 1997 to 148 percent by late 1999.

1997-1999 Advancing the Digital Frontier
  • Samsung Aerospace (known today as Samsung Techwin), Daewoo Heavy Industries, and Hyundai Space and Aircraft formed a single business entity, Korea Aerospace Industries
  • First in the world to mass-produce and offer a full line up of digital TVs
  • Developed the world's first 3D TFT-LCD Monitor
  • Developed wireless Internet phone (Smartphone), a small, multi-function phone
  • Achieved top share of world’s TFT-LCD market
  • Mass production of world's first digital TV begun
  • Began mass production of the world’s first digital TV
  • Development of completely flat-screen TV completed
  • Served as Olympic Partner at Nagano Winter Olympics
  • World's first 128M SDRAM introduced
  • Deveoped world's first 128MB Synchronous DRAM and 128MB Flash memory
  • Became a Worldwide Olympic Partner (TOP) in the wireless communications category
  • Signed contract to become an Olympic Partner in wireless equipment category for Nagano Winter Olympics
  • Developed world's lightest PCS (105g)
  • Developed world's largest TFT-LCD (30)
  • Development of world's first 30" TFT-LCD completed
  • Announced 2nd phase of New Management