Daewoo is a major South Korean chaebol (corporation), which means "Great Universe" in Korean. The Daewoo Group was founded by Kim Woo-Jung in March 1967. He was the son of the Provincial Governor of Daegu. He graduated from the Kyonggi High School, finished with an Economics Degree at Yonsei University in Seoul. Daewoo became one of the Big Four Corporation in South Korea. An industrial and multi-faceted service conglomerate, Daewoo was prominent in expanding its global market through joint ventures all over the world.
There were about 20 divisions under Daewoo Group, which before the crisis was the second largest corporation in Korea after Hyundai, followed by LG and Samsung.
Daewoo Group had under its umbrella several major corporations: 1. Daewoo Electronics 2. Daewoo Heavy Industries 3. Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering produced containerships and oil tankers. It spun off in 2000 and became an independent company, DSME, re-listing on the Korean stockmarket in 2001. 4. Daewoo Securities, a financial securities company. 5. Daewoo Telecom, which concentrated on the telecommunication aspect of electronics. 6. Daewoo Construction, which built highways, dams and skyscrapers, especially in the Middle East and Africa 7. A further subsidiary was the Daewoo Development Company, funded by cash from the Group, and set up to develop hotels. Seven were built in Korea, China, Vietnam and Africa. They were personally designed and furnished by Choong's socialite wife Heeja who was Chairwoman of the company. The most lavish is the 5-star Hanoi Daewoo Hotel which cost $163 million in 1996 and was kitted out by Heeja with fine art, porcelain, sculptures and marble.
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