Naver focuses on mobile shopping

Naver is trying to finally crack the mobile business, which it admits has been its Achilles’ heel. Naver is the largest search engine and portal in the country. However, as people steadily shift away from PCs to access the Internet, Naver has been seeking new businesses in the mobile sector. Naver said Tuesday it is introducing a one-stop mobile shopping platform in the first half of this year that forecasts the needs of users and reflects them in search results. It hopes users will shop and pay for goods using its payment system Naver Pay.

“Everyone knows that Naver is not No. 1 in the mobile business,” said Han Seong-sook, head of Naver’s services departments, at a press conference at Naver Partner Square in Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam, southern Seoul Turesday. “Naver lacks content and sharing functions, which are the most important component in mobile. We have a sense of urgency.”

Social networking services such as Google and Facebook are also competing in the mobile shopping market to compete with Amazon, Alibaba and eBay. Naver said it will use an Shopping Trend Graph algorithm that shows relevant information about shopping in search result and the algorithm can predict the users’ interests. Around 34 percent of keywords in Naver searches are already shopping related.

For full article, see Joongang Daily.

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Korea’s mobile ad market to surpass 900 million US$ this year

The local market for mobile advertisements is anticipated to top the 1-trillion won ($928 million) mark in 2015, a report showed Monday, as people spend more time on smartphones compared to traditional PCs. South Korea’s market for mobile advertisements is estimated to rise 27 percent on-year to reach 1.06 trillion won this year, according to the report released by market researcher DMC Media. The market expanded 74.1 percent on-year to reach 832.9 billion won in 2014.

The researcher said the growth is attributable to the rising number of smartphone users, while people are spending less time using computers. “Mobile messengers’ earnings will also improve, as they will roll out various payment-related services other than mobile games, which have been considered as traditional cash cows,” DMC Media said. “Other global messenger providers will also expand their revenue from advertisements on the back of their mobile platforms.”

For full article, see Korea Herald.

Korea’s IT industry in transition

IT has become a mainstay of Korea’s export driven economy, and aggressive investments have made Korean firms into dominant players in semiconductors, LCD panels, and mobile phones. Despite their success, new challenges await Korean firms in the form of increased competition from China, and pressure to diversify into components and software.

Korea’s IT and electronics industry began with assembly of radio sets in the 1950s. By the 1980s, Korean firms had moved into semiconductor production, and by the 1990s, Korean firms were producing high quality consumer electronics and exploring high-speed Internet services. IT is now one of the nation’s backbone industries, accounting for nearly 11 percent of GDP, and 33 percent of exports in 2010. Korea’s IT success has thus far been mostly a hardware phenomenon, but Korean firms are now increasingly looking into software as the industry evolves.

IT Drives Korea’s Export
Korea’s IT exports reached $158.8 billion in 2011, a three-fold increase from 2001. Share for the IT industry in exports is characteristically high, peaking at 39 percent in 2004, though this is expected to decline to 29 percent in 2011. The trade surplus for IT, moreover, has consistently outstripped the nation’s overall trade balance since 2001. Even during the global financial crisis of 2008, when Korea posted a trade deficit of $13 billion, the IT industry recorded a surplus of $58 billion. Korean IT has also been a strong performer in comparison to other nations. After ranking third in the world from 2005 to 2008, Korean IT’s trade balance overtook Japan in 2009 and 2010 to take the No. 2 spot behind China. In terms of IT export volume, Korea climbed to 5th in the world in 2009 from 10th in 2001, greatly narrowing the gap with No. 4 Japan.

For full article see Infomag of EUCCK.