Samsung Group is one of the five most influential Asian companies that ever existed, Forbes magazine wrote earlier this week, with Luke Kelly of Forbes Asia saying how the firm's journey took it from "a mediocre electronics manufacturer" to the largest smartphone maker in the world and the tech giant that it is today, largely attributing that success to Lee Kun Hee, Samsung Group Chairman and the son of the chaebol's founder Lee Byung-chul. Apart from the Seoul-based original equipment manufacturer, the list published by Forbes also praises Alibaba, Sony, Toyota, and HDFC Bank as the most influential Asian firms which shaped both the continent and the rest of the world.
Samsung Group's flagship unit Samsung Electronics is currently posting record profits and is expected to continue its strong performance in the coming quarters, largely thanks to the still massive demand for NAND flash memory chips, as well as its high-end smartphones; the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus are largely expected to be the best-selling Android devices in 2017, whereas the newly released Galaxy Note 8 is also set to become a commercial success, according to many industry watchers. With premium devices also coming with the highest profit margins in the industry, success in this segment guarantees a strong performance of a smartphone unit as a whole, as evidenced by Samsung's market performance in recent times.
Regardless of its current achievements, Samsung's prospects have recently been facing some question marks after its Vice Chairman and heir apparent Jay Y. Lee was sentenced to five years in prison for his role in a political scandal which also saw former President of the Far Eastern country impeached and currently facing her own prison time. Mr. Lee is now in the process of appealing the verdict which sided with the prosecution alleging that he approved the idea of bribing a close associate of the former President in an effort to ensure a 2015 merger of two Samsung Group affiliates which shifted more corporate power to the part of the chaebol controlled by the founding Lee family, consequently ensuring his tight grasp over the tech giant. An appellate court is expected to rule on the appeal in the coming weeks, with the case itself also having the potential to reach the South Korean Supreme Court should the initial appeal be deemed unsuccessful by Mr. Lee's legal team.