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Nigel Callinan

Telecommunications and smart mobile devices have now become some of the key export areas for South Korean companies. As with the other products and services that come from this East-Asian country, the bulk of exports originate from giant, family-run Chaebol multinational corporations (MNCs). The major Korean players in ICT over the past three decades have been Samsung, SK, Korea Telecom (KT) and LG. However, in recent years Samsung has started to move significantly ahead of all its domestic competitors, becoming a major global company in a relatively short time period. In 2009, Samsung reached the pinnacle of its field by being recognized as the world’s largest ICT company based on revenue, and it held that position throughout the next five years. ICT and mobile devices may be Samsung’s main source of revenue but the company conducts business in a diverse range of industries including shipbuilding, construction, consumer electronics, retail and insurance. In this chapter, the focus is on how Samsung created a close relationship with the Korean government in the ICT area; effectively creating a protected business environment that assisted with its global expansion plans. Key words: ICT, telecommunications, technical barriers to trade, Korea.