South Korean citizens watch coverage of the sentencing hearing for Samsung Electronics vice-chairman Lee Jae-yong in Seoul on Friday. Lee was jailed for five years after being convicted of bribery and other charges. Photo: Yonhap

Why Samsung heir’s jailing will do little to dent its smartphone profits, in the short term at least

Donald Kirk says while Lee Jae-yong’s prison term doesn’t signal the downfall of the thriving electronics giant, it may indicate the start of a long-term, gradual reform process for South Korean conglomerates

Topic |   South Korea

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South Korean citizens watch coverage of the sentencing hearing for Samsung Electronics vice-chairman Lee Jae-yong in Seoul on Friday. Lee was jailed for five years after being convicted of bribery and other charges. Photo: Yonhap
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Donald Kirk

Donald Kirk

Donald Kirk is an author and journalist from Washington, D.C., and travels to South Korea, with stops in London, India, Pakistan, the Middle East, Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines, among other places, writing on the confrontation of forces in the post-September 11 era. He was the Seoul correspondent for the International Herald Tribune from 1997 to 2003. Before gravitating to Northeast Asia, he covered much of the Vietnam War for the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Star. He has also written books on Korea, notably Korea Betrayed: Kim Dae Jung and Sunshine and Korean Dynasty: Hyundai and Chung Ju Yung.