Seoul to take wait-and-see stance to messenger app suspension in China

By 이현정
  • Published : Jul 13, 2014 - 15:40
  • Updated : Jul 13, 2014 - 15:40
South Korea's ICT ministry said Sunday it will take a wait-and-see approach over recent interruptions to South Korean mobile messenger services in China and will continue efforts to find the cause.

The move comes as the top two mobile messenger applications, LINE and KakaoTalk serviced by Naver Corp. and Kakao Corp, have been having issues in providing services in China since July 1, with some speculating that the Chinese authority has intentionally banned the services, just as it blocked Facebook and Twitter in the country.

"The South Korean government has limitations in bringing up the issue with China as the messenger apps are downloaded from application markets, which means they are not subject to the World Trade Organization pacts," an official from the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said.

South Korea's foreign ministry echoed the view, adding that there are limits to the government's involvement, as it may also spark a diplomatic problem if Seoul hastily jumps into the problem.

The two ministries have been contacting the Chinese Embassy in Seoul to find solutions since last week.

Market watchers expect that the Chinese government may have intentionally banned the services to protect its domestic messenger services or to tighten its surveillance over the Internet services within the country. Naver and Kakao have found no technical problems in its networks and servers so far. (Yonhap)