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[Herald Interview] Internet David Zum takes on Web Goliaths

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Published : 2014-06-22 20:43
Updated : 2014-06-22 20:43

The Internet market in Korea where just a few top Web-portals and browsers like Naver, Google and Microsoft are dominant is tough nut to crack.

Despite little chance of success, local internet firm Zum Internet is creating a challenge against Internet behemoths with its Web-portal Zum.com and Internet browser Swing Browser.

“Our goal is to provide the fastest and the most comfortable services for Internet users,” Chung Sang-won, vice president of Zum Internet, told The Korea Herald.

“To that end, the company updates its Web-browser services in real time whenever some technical glitches take place, different from other browser giants, such as Microsoft, which conduct updates on set schedules,” he added. 
Chung Sang-won, vice president of Zum Internet

In order to enhance user experience on Web-portal Zum.com, the company makes any advertisement banner disappear when the users read news articles, which helps prevent portal users from being distracted, while reading and focusing on the news content.

One of his goals is to make the firm’s Web-portal serve a search engine that provides swift and accurate search results, like Google, and offers a convenient search environment that fits the complicated tastes of Korean Internet users, like Naver, Chung said.

The firm’s efforts to survive in the competitive markets will not likely end up being in vain as it is outrunning Google in some ways.

According to Internet market research firm Korean Click, Zum.com is the third largest Internet portal in Korea, beating Google, with around 5 percent of market share. Naver and Daum are the leaders in the local Web-portal market with around 70 percent and 20 percent market shares, respectively.

Swing Browser, which marks 200-days on the coming Thursday since its launch, has been garnering support as it now has more than 1-million monthly active users.

Chung said he aims to increase the number of users to 3 million by the end of this year, which will account for 10 percent of the total number of the Korean Internet users. If the goal is realized, the company could compete with Google in that the number of active users for Google’s Chrome takes 12 percent of the total users in Korea.

Zum Internet, an affiliate of software developer ESTsoft, also has a plan to make inroad into overseas markets with Web-browsing services, packaged with AlTools, a group of utilities including anti-virus solution ALYac, music player ALSong, and file compression program ALZip.

The firm seeks a stock listing by 2015, Chung added.

By Kim Young-won (wone0102@heraldcorp.com)

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