South Korea’s Samsung Group Chairman Lee Jianxi passed away on the 25th at the age of 78. Li Jianxi is regarded as the creator of Samsung’s rise. The corporate development legacy he left for Samsung and the issue of inheritance after his death have instantly become the focus of attention of all parties.
Hospitalized for several years due to heart disease
Li Jianxi is the third son of Samsung founder Li Bingzhe. Since 1987, he has succeeded Li Bingzhe who died and became the second chairman of the Samsung Group. Under his leadership, Samsung has grown into South Korea’s largest family business and “Big Mac” economy. He himself has even been called the “Economic President” of South Korea.
In 2014, Li Jianxi suffered a heart attack at home and has been treated in the hospital since then. His only son, Lee Jae-yong, became the actual controller of the Samsung Group.
On July 9 this year, Forbes released the 2020 South Korean Rich List, which showed that Samsung President Li Jianxi took the top spot with a net worth of $17.3 billion.
Samsung’s statement on the 25th stated that when Lee Jianxi died on Sunday, his family, including his son and the actual company leader Lee Jae-yong, were all by his side.
“Chairman Lee is a true visionary who transformed Samsung from a local company to a world-leading innovator and industrial powerhouse,” Samsung said in a statement. “His legacy will be eternal.”
Samsung is by far the largest family-controlled conglomerate, occupying a dominant position in the business of South Korea, the world’s 12th largest economy. Samsung’s overall turnover is equivalent to one-fifth of South Korea’s gross domestic product, which is vital to South Korea’s economic health.
Inheritance tax may reach 10 trillion won
After Li Jianxi’s death, Samsung Group’s business succession and future development have received widespread attention. His only son, Lee Jae-yong, the current vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, is regarded as a popular successor to Samsung Group.
Li Jianxi’s huge personal inheritance has also become the focus of attention. According to reports, the total market value of the shares of Samsung Group companies under Li Jianxi’s name exceeds 18 trillion won (approximately US$16 billion), and the inheritance tax involved may reach 10 trillion won.
In the Forbes 2020 South Korean Rich List released on July 9 this year, Samsung Chairman Lee Kin-hee ranked first with a fortune of $17.3 billion; his son Samsung Vice President Lee Jae-yong had a fortune of $6.7 billion, ranking fourth.
According to a report issued by Ernst & Young, South Korea’s inheritance tax ranks among the top in the world. The highest tax rate is higher than 45% in France and 40% in the United Kingdom and the United States, which is the same as Germany and Switzerland. The minimum tax rate is 18%, and the maximum tax rate of over $25 million is 50%.