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28 OCTOBER 2020

SEOUL: The funeral for late Samsung Group chief, Lee Kun-hee, was held in Seoul on Wednesday as his grieving family, friends and colleagues commemorated his legacy and accomplishments as one of South Korea's most influential business tycoons, Yonhap News Agency reported.

Lee died Sunday at age 78, more than six years after being hospitalised for a heart attack.

The send-off ceremony for Lee was held in a private manner at a funeral hall at Samsung Medical Centre in southern Seoul with his wife, Hong Ra-hee, and his scions, including Samsung Electronic Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, in attendance.

Shinsegae Group Chairman Lee Myung-hee, a sister of the late Samsung chief, and CJ Group Chairman Lee Jae-hyun, a nephew of Lee Kun-hee, attended the ceremony as well.

The funeral procession for Lee is expected to travel places where he left a footprint at Samsung, including his house in Yongsan Ward, central Seoul, Samsung Electronics' headquarters in Suwon, just south of Seoul, and the company's chip plant in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province.

The resting ground for Lee has been reportedly decided to be in Suwon where his ancestors are buried.

Samsung earlier announced that Lee's funeral will be held in a modest manner with family members, and it courteously declined visits from others amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lee has been recognised as a figure who led the tech giant to become the world's leading player in the semiconductor and mobile phone sectors with his unrivaled insights.

Born in Daegu in 1942, he officially inherited the Samsung crown in 1987 at the age of 45 when his father Lee Byung-chull, founder of the present-day Samsung Group, died.

In 1993, Lee Kun-hee announced his first trademark business philosophy, the "New Management Initiative," which has been embraced by Samsung like a doctrine to date.

In his 33-year reign, Samsung Group saw its assets jump to more than 800 trillion won (US$708 billion) from 10 trillion won.

His only son, Jae-yong, is widely expected to serve as the new leader of Samsung Group, whose business portfolio ranges from tech and construction to finance and an amusement park.

The 52-year-old Jae-yong has been the de facto leader of Samsung since his father collapsed in 2014 due to a heart attack. - Bernama

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