Ranking of TV drama’s chaebol characters

On the March 24th episode of SBS’s TV Entertainment News, the chaebol characters from recent dramas were ranked by their supposed wealth.

Song Seung Hun’s Park Hae-young character in the MBC drama My Princess took the first place honor to be the richest chaebol of them all. Daehan Group, to which he was the sole heir, ran electronics, automobile, hotel, and department store businesses. If Daehan Group had been an actual corporation, its wealth would be comparable to the combined wealth of the modern day Samsung Group and Hyundai Motors, and in fact, no chaebol of such wealth exists in Korea today.

Next in ranking was the fictional JK Group from the currently airing MBC drama Royal Family.  With total assets worth 26 trillion won (approx. 23 billion U.S. dollars), JK Group would just fall short of making the top 10, and would be comparable to the real-life Hanhwa Corporation.

Kim Hee Ae’s Yoo In-hye character in the SBS drama Midas appears as the heir to the fictional Injin Group. Her annual salary of 22 billion won (approx. 20 million U.S. dollars) and total assets worth 5 trillion won (approx. 4.5 billion U.S. dollars) from her real estate, shopping mall, and investment businesses would qualify her to make the list of the top 40 richest Korean.

The biggest surprise came from Hyun Bin’s Kim Joo-won character in the SBS drama Secret Garden. Despite touting himself as a “leader of society”, his character did not appear to operate any other businesses besides Loel Department Store. And thus, Kim Joo-won may be embarrassed to discover that he would not be classified as a chaebol in real life, but just a wealthy “commoner”. Kim Joo-won and Gil Ra-im were not so far different from each other, after all.


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  1. kcomments

    No matter how ppl have complained about it, I always love chaebol as my hero, it’s like dream come true, com’on who wouldn’t love rich and famous? And yes I would name Hae Young as my richest (and hottest) chaebol of all time. (Finished MP cuz of his hotness, couldn’t concentrate on the story AT ALL everything became blur when he’s on, this is really exceptionally rare for me hehe).

    Aww poor Joo Won, his business empire didn’t feel quite real to me but his personalities did, I have a real chaebol person that would buy two movie tickets just to make sure nobody sits next to him (of course his seat would be the first in a row hahaha).

    1. blue

      As much as I roll my eyes whenever a male lead is described as a chaebol, I still remain a sucker for them. Hey, we women live out our fantasy from these dramas, and there’s a reason why the dramas keep churning them out!

    2. kim

      but isn’t joo won’s family owns a resort ? the one at the mountains

  2. Evelyn

    Secret Garden My favorite K drama. Lie to me. I love the Chaebol’s. Your should keep them coming. I did think that in secret garden the character was into more THAN THE DEPARTMENT STORES.

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