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Naver eyes re-entering Japanese search engine market after 2 previous failures

This photo, provided by Naver Corp. shows Kim Sang-bum, CEO of Naver Search CIC. (Naver Corp.)
This photo, provided by Naver Corp. shows Kim Sang-bum, CEO of Naver Search CIC. (Naver Corp.)
Naver Corp., the operator of South Korea's dominant internet portal, is positively reviewing making inroads into the Japanese search engine market despite two previous failures, the company's executive said Wednesday.

Naver first entered the Japanese search engine market by establishing Naver Japan but exited the country in 2005. Naver made another attempt in the market by introducing a search engine, Naver Japan, but closed down the service in 2013.

"We believe we can make it this time," Kim Sang-bum, CEO of Naver Search CIC, said during an annual tech conference, without disclosing the exact schedule.

Naver attributed the two failures to Naver Japan not properly competing with the longer-standing industry players in the country -- Google Japan and Yahoo Japan.

In 2019, however, Naver's Japanese messaging app provider Line Corp. signed a formal contract to merge with internet portal Yahoo Japan Corp.

"Line became the most-used messenger in Japan," Kim said. "We did not have any experience or background in the past, but now we have Line." 

Cooperation with Yahoo Japan would help Naver to obtain search engine know-how unique to the Japanese market, according to Kim.

The number of engineers for the Japanese market has since jumped nearly eight times. (Yonhap)
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