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He Built an $8.9 Billion Fortune. Then the Controversies Began.

  • Coupang CEO Kim under fire for worker treatment in South Korea
  • Company says it takes safety and health of employees seriously
Bom Kim in 2019.
Bom Kim in 2019.Photographer: Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg
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Bom Kim amassed a fortune at Coupang Inc., the Amazon of South Korea, that reached as much as $8.9 billion, and became the poster child of a new kind of wealth generation in the country: self-made riches from the technology world instead of the dynastic hoards of decades-old conglomerates.

Much was made about how the new breed of titans was different, more willing to give back to society and more considerate of employees. Coupang, for example, promised staff and frontline workers about $90 million in stock awards when it listed in New York in March.