Samsung Heir Gets Out of Jail Amidst Pressure From US for Chip Fab

Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-Young, who has been acting as the de facto head of the Samsung conglomerate since his father suffered a heart attack in 2014, is set to be released from prison on parole this Friday after serving 6 months of a 30 month sentence. This follows international pressure from US companies, as Samsung is currently eyeing potential American semiconductor fabs. 

First, some context. Lee’s upcoming parole is actually his second time leaving prison early, as he was first sent to prison in 2017 and served about one year of a five year sentence before a retrial was ordered in 2019. After the retrial, the heir returned to prison this January. Jae-Young’s father, Lee Kun-Hee, passed away while Jae-Young was out of prison, leaving Jae-Young as his sole son and the likely soon-to-be official inheritor of the Samsung empire.

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