Chaebol (Hangul: 재벌, Romaja: jaebeol) (Literal Translation: wealth clique) is a a family-controlled industrial conglomerate in South Korea. A Chaebol typically have subsidiaries across diverse industries, controlled by an owner whose power over the group often exceeds legal authority. The term is often used in a context similar to that of the English word "conglomerate". The term was derived from the Japanese zaibatsu (財閥, "financial clique), sharing a similar structure and origins. It was first used in English in 1984. There are several dozen large South Korean family-controlled corporate groups that fall under this definition, including Samsung, Hyundai and LG.
Traditionally, the chaebol corporate structure places members of the founding family in ownership or management positions, allowing them to maintain control over affiliates. Chaebol have relied on close cooperation with the government for their success: decades of support in the form of subsidies, loans, and tax incentives helped them become pillars of the South Korean economy.
Although more than forty conglomerates fit the definition of a chaebol, just a handful wield tremendous economic might. The top five, taken together, represent approximately half of the South Korean stock market’s value. Chaebol drive the majority of South Korea’s investment in research and development and employ people around the world. Samsung Electronics, the largest Samsung affiliate, employs more than 300,000 people globally (more than Apple’s 123,000 and Google’s 88,000 combined).
Known Chaebols in the Series
- Giga Group: The biggest corporation in the series and the "creators" of Lucid Adventure. It has several divisions that are controlled by members of the Han family, with Sam Han being the current Chairman.
Notes & Trivia
- The word chaebol is a combination of the Korean words chae (재) (wealth) and bol (벌) (clan or clique).
- Members of the family are often called chaebols. For example, as a member of the Han Family, Carter Han would be referred to as a chaebol.