[top10]Tough competition takes toll on SamsungThis year has once again brought slow economic growth, and even the nation’s biggest conglomerate Samsung Group has suffered a major blow because of competition from low-end Chinese smartphones and its rival Apple.
Samsung Electronics’ performance nose-dived in the third quarter, with its operating profit falling by more than half compared to a year ago, when it hit a record high of 10 trillion won ($9.1 billion). Although the company has yet to announce its fourth-quarter performance, the market estimates its operating profit could drop slightly to about 4 trillion won.
The conglomerate was also hit by turmoil after Chairman Lee Kun-hee suffered a heart attack in May. Since then, the company has said on several occasions that his condition is improving, but he remains hospitalized and has not appeared in public.
Meanwhile, the Korean economy continues to struggle. Choi Kyung-hwan took over as the finance minister in July, and with guns blazing passed a batch of stimulus policies. But the sudden global economic downturn has raised doubts over whether the Korean economy will reach its 3.7 percent growth target.