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Analyse Asia

Jun 13, 2020

In episode 327, Geoffrey Cain, author of "Samsung Rising" joins us in a two parts conversation on his journey across Asia as a journalist and author and discuss the backstory of his new book behind the Samsung Group and how it rise to be the most powerful Chaebol (large family-owned business conglomerate) in Korea. In the second part of the conversation, Geoffrey discuss Samsung's complicated relationship with Apple as both a supplier and competitor and how their arrogance and hierarchical culture led to the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fiasco. He reveals why he did not include the story of Lee Boo-jin, the daughter of Lee Kun Hee who is often tapped as a potential successor to the Samsung Group and why it is unlikely that there will be a female leader to helm the Samsung Group. Last but not least, Geoffrey offered his perspectives on how Samsung is responsible for exporting culture out of Korea to the rest of the world, particularly the movie Parasite and his thoughts on whether there is a future for another Samsung-like Group emerging in another market out there. 

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Geoffrey Cain, author of “Samsung Rising”, and also regular commentator on The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Time & The New Republic and former correspondent in The Economist (Website, @geoffrey_cain, LinkedIn)
  • Samsung Rising (Random House, Amazon, Apple Books) [0:30]
    • What are your perspectives on Samsung’s dual relationship with Apple, as a supplier of solid state drives and OLED screens for the iPhone while competing with their flagship phones, the Galaxy series phones? [0:34]
    • Samsung Galaxy note 7 fiasco is well covered in the press. In your view in covering that story, what lessons have Samsung learned from that disaster that almost ended their smartphone dominance? [3:56]
    • What are the fundamental flaws that are in Samsung that are not functioning in today's world? [8:06]
    • The battles within the Lee family for the succession to Samsung's empire. [11:28]
    • Comments on Lee Boo-jin, the sister of Jay Lee as a potential successor to the Samsung Group, and why it is not included in the book "Samsung Rising"
    • Samsung's family connection with the Oscar best movie in 2020 "Parasite" [22:24]
    • Do you think that the success that Samsung has attained after 80 years of work can be replicated in other countries today?  [27:40]
  • Closing
    • Do you have any recommendation of a book, movie, podcast or anything which have inspired you recently? [32:25]
      • Geoffrey's recommendations: Joe Studwell "How Asia Works", James Fallows "China Airborne".
    • Where do our audience find you? [33:45]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted and produced by Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin) and originally created by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin). Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, "The Beginning" from Red Cliff Soundtrack.

analyseasia · Samsung Rising Part Two with Geoffrey Cain