We went inside Samsung's global headquarters in South Korea. Here's what we saw

We went inside Samsung's global headquarters in South Korea
Key Points
  • Samsung is the world's 12th largest company, according to Forbes
  • More than 320,000 employees around the world work for the South Korean tech giant
  • CNBC filmed an exclusive look inside three of its massive campuses

Samsung is one of the world's largest companies, with more than 320,000 employees worldwide.

Its business units span from microwaves and laptops to shipping and insurance.

Samsung is commonly known to many for its smartphones and despite challenges it has faced (exploding smartphone batteries and its foldable phone flop which resulted in the company halting its launch), Samsung remains the world's most popular smartphone.

In the first quarter of 2019, Samsung shipped 71.9 million smartphone units, compared to Huawei and Apple, which shipped 59.1 million and 36.4 million, respectively, according to IDC.

CNBC was granted rare access to film three of its campuses in and around the city of Seoul.

Samsung Digital City

Employee count: 32,000

Samsung Digital City is home to the company's electronics unit which is responsible for mobile devices, TV's and household appliances.

There's also what's called Samsung 5G City, which consists of an outdoor park where the company tests 5G network equipment which is currently being deployed to telecom providers including in South Korea and the U.S.

The sprawling campus includes cafeterias where employees eat for free, a massive gym and includes international food and beverage outlets such as Dunkin Donuts.

While security is tight and heavily guarded, Samsung Innovation Museum is open to the public and pays homage to the history of Samsung, along with the general history of technology products.

A fire station at Samsung's Nano City campus outside of Seoul, South Korea
Uptin Saiidi | CNBC

Samsung Nano City

Employee count: 40,000

The campuses of Samsung Nano City are so massive, it includes 12 employee cafeterias. It's home to where its semiconductor chips are made.

Samsung Seoul R&D Campus

Employee count: 3,800

Samsung said more than 65,000 of its employees are dedicated to conducting research and development, which is the equivalent to around 20 percent of its global workforce.

To encourage creativity amongst staff, its Seoul R&D campus hosts a multi-story library where designers and employees can come to brainstorm and find inspiration amidst books and magazines.

The campus is also home to Samsung's Sound Lab, which features music equipment and voice booths where the voice of Samsung's smartphone virtual assistant, Bixby is recorded.

It's also where sounds are created for many of its household appliances, such as the sound a smartphone makes once it's plugged into an electrical outlet or the sound a refrigerator makes after its door has been open for too long.