A chaebol is a large family-owned conglomerate in South Korea. A chaebol may have dozens of subsidiaries in a wide variety of industries. Chaebols are characterized by strong government ties.
Chaebols are similar in nature to Japan's keiretsu. One major difference is that chaebols are forbidden from being involved in banking and rely heavily on government for funding. Where as all subsidiaries of a keiretsu will typically receive funding from the same bank.