Skip to content

Elon Musk’s Many Korean Fans Have Built a $15 Billion Tesla Stake

In a country where economic inequality has inspired Parasite and Squid Game, retail investors hoping for a ticket to prosperity have amassed a huge position in the electric-car maker.

relates to Elon Musk’s Many Korean Fans Have Built a $15 Billion Tesla Stake
Illustration: Lucia Pham for Bloomberg Businessweek

Park Sunghyun and her husband sold their home in Seoul, moved into a rental apartment with their 7-year-old son, and plowed the family’s $230,000 of savings into shares of Tesla Inc.

They’re not alone in betting everything on Elon Musk’s electric-car maker. Throughout the pandemic, individual South Koreans thronged into Tesla stock, increasing their combined holdings more than a hundredfold, to exceed $15 billion. It makes them key stakeholders in one of the largest companies in the world by market value, with a collective share as big as those of Larry Ellison or US money manager T. Rowe Price Group Inc. They tend to be dip buyers who jump in when the stock retreats, helping curb declines.