Korean-billionaires-Shin-Dong-bin
Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin/Courtesy of Lotte Group

1. Wealth: $870 million (Forbes, 2019)

2. Date of birth: February 14, 1956

Shin Dong-bin is the chairman of Lotte Group, South Korea’s fifth-largest conglomerate. He is the second son of Lotte Group founder Shin Kyuk-ho.

3. Company & title: Lotte Group/Chairman

Shin Dong-bin was born as the younger son of Lotte Group founder Shin Kyuk-ho in Tokyo. He began his career at Nomura Securities in the early 1980s and got aboard Lotte in 1988.

In 2011, Shin took charge of Lotte Group, which has subsidiaries in such businesses as retail, hotels, chemicals, beverages, and others.

4. Educational backgrounds: Aoyama Gakuin University, Columbia University

Koo studied in Japan and the United States.

5. Marital status: Married (wife: Ogo Manami)

Shin tied the knot with a Japanese woman named Ogo Manami in 1985. They have three children, who are living in Japan.

6. Relatives:

Lotte Group founder Shin Kyuk-ho: Father

SDJ Corporation Chairman Shin Dong-joo: Brother

7. Criminal records: Once

Time served in prison: 8 months

First: February 13, 2018 ~ October 5, 2018

Shin went to prison in February 2018 as part of the huge graft scandal that involved former President Park Geun-hye and her confidante Choi Soon-sil.

Back then, a Seoul district court sentenced him to 30 months of jail time. About eight months later, an appeals court released the tycoon by changing his sentence to one suspended for four years. The appellate court’s verdict was confirmed by the Supreme Court in October 2019.

8. Controversies:

Under the stewardship of Chairman Shin Dong-bin, Lotte Group suffered great setbacks in China as Beijing shut down many of Lotte Mart stores in the world’s most populous country in 2017.

The measure was taken after Lotte offered land to the Seoul administration as a location to deploy a U.S. anti-missile system, which Beijing claims is aimed at monitoring airborne objects in China.

Lotte might have no choice but to provide the land, but it bore the brunt of China’s anger over the U.S. missile system. Eventually, Lotte pulled out of China due to snowballing losses.

Another controversy involving Chairman Shin is the family feud between him and his older brother Shin Dong-joo, who competed to succeed his father as Lotte’s boss.

After years of contests, Chairman Shin managed to win out, although the two have occasionally duked it out at courts or board meetings.

9. Related articles:

From prison to White House