SEOUL, Feb. 24 (Korea Bizwire) – The board of Samsung Electronics Co. approved a new clause on Friday that aims to make donations more transparent, after Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong was arrested over his alleged role in the influence-peddling scandal that led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.
Under the new rule, any plans by Samsung Electronics to make a donation or sign a sponsorship contract worth more than 1 billion won (US$882,067) should be screened and approved by its board, Samsung officials said.
Special prosecutors investigating the scandal have accused President Park Geun-hye and her longtime friend of pressuring big firms to make “donations” worth millions of dollars to two foundations controlled by the friend of Park.
Samsung made donations to the foundations, but denied the bribery allegations, saying it did not seek a business favor in return.
Special prosecutors, however, alleged that the donations by Samsung could be related to succession plans for Lee, heir apparent of Samsung Group, as the National Pension Service (NPS) voted in favor of the controversial 2015 merger of two Samsung units.
The scandal led to the impeachment of Park, as well as the arrest of a number of government officials, including a former health minister who had served as chief of the NPS.
So far, Samsung Electronics must get approval from its board when it makes a donation worth more than 0.5 percent of its capital, or 680 billion won.
The new rule also requires Samsung Electronics to make a regulatory filing when it makes a donation or signs a sponsorship contract.