Money Matters - Simplified

Samsung group conflict defames memorial service for founder

The two branches of Korea's largest family dynasty will hold separate memorial service ceremonies for the company's deceased founder

Samsung has been dominating the tech news for different reasons earlier, but now an internal conflict has popped up that has affected the traditional memorial service ceremony of the company's founder. For the first time in 25 years, the descendants will hold a separate memorial service for the deceased founder Lee Byung-chull. This will also include Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee, South Korea's CJ Group revealed.

It must be noted that the two branches from South Korea's richest business dynasty, are combating each other in a legal battle over billions of dollars worth of shares in Samsung group companies and traded barbs.

The two brothers Lee Kun-hee and Lee Maeng-hee have been out lashing their wrath against each other in public statements and speeches. While Maeng-hee designated his rival sibling as 'childish' and 'greedy', Kun-hee responded stringently by saying that the latter was 'kicked' out of the family and that he had not observed the family rites.

CJ Group has publicly revealed that the Samsung Hoam foundation, that holds the annual ceremony has informed them that their chairman Lee Jay-hyun and his family would not be allowed to use the front door for the buried site of the deceased. Lee Jay-hyun is Maeng-hee's son.

"Samsung's notification to 'come and go by the back door' is tantamount to blocking the normal ancestral rites of other siblings and their descendants," CJ Group said in a statement.

Maeng-hee has pleaded the ownership of shares in Samsung Electronics, which makes the world's best selling smartphone, and Samsung Life, an insurance company to extend his business empire.

The Lee family usually gathers at the November 19 ceremony, a tradition from Korea's Confucianist roots that extols the virtue of honouring one's ancestors.