Seoul Yanks The Chaebol's Leash

On Oct. 10, Queen Elizabeth II and Samsung group Chairman Lee Kun-Hee pulled ceremonial levers to officially open new British assembly lines for microwave ovens and personal-computer monitors. It was a defining moment for Lee because the $700 million plant is South Korea's single largest investment in Europe. Determined to become even more global, Lee has plans to triple consumer-electronics production in Europe, invest $4 billion in China for electronics, and invest $2 billion in the U.S. to make semiconductors and other products. All of Korea's top four chaebol have similar visions of rapid international expansion.

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