Facebook and Twitter are no longer foreign to South Korean users. In this highly wired nation, people increasingly rely on non-Korean IT services, which pose a serious threat to local brands. The battle is now expected to intensify further this year as global IT companies step up their attacks, especially in the mobile market, where the stakes are the biggest in the post-PC era.
Up until now, it could be argued that Korean Internet companies were effectively protecting their home turf against foreign competitors, thanks partly to the complex regulations imposed by Korean regulators.
The foreign camp saw one high-profile victim when Yahoo Korea bowed out of the Korean market in 2012 after several years of lackluster performance against its local rivals such as Naver and Daum Communications. Even Google, the world’s biggest search engine, did not make a big dent here, at least initially. It recorded only single-digit growth since its 2006 Korean service launch, while its services in other countries saw exponential growth. Only a few years ago, domestic social media such as Cyworld of SK Communications seemed to have a lasting edge over Facebook and Twitter. The logic was simple enough: Korean IT companies know much more about Korean customers.
For full article, see Korea Herald.