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.