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Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, center, is the de facto leader of the family-run conglomerate.   © Reuters

Chaebol play both villain and hero in South Korea's tale

Samsung's woes reveal complex public attitude toward family-run empires

KENICHI YAMADA, Nikkei staff writer | South Korea

SEOUL -- The jailing of the Samsung group's de facto leader as part of the scandal over South Korea's impeached president highlights the public's love-hate relationship with the family-run conglomerates that dominate the country's business scene.

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong was conspicuously absent from the company's shareholders meeting Friday, about a month after his arrest on allegations of bribing former South Korean President Park Geun-hye and her friend, Choi Soon-sil.

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