South Korean online webtoon service providers have launched their European operations in France as a test bed to target the European content market, industry data showed Monday.
Naver Webtoon, an online platform for digital comics run by Korea's leading portal operator Naver, in March announced its plan to establish its European unit, Webtoon EU, in France within the first half.
The company had started its French-language service in 2019, as well as Spanish in the same year and German in 2022.
Kakao Entertainment, a subsidiary of Korean internet and entertainment giant Kakao, has entered the French web comics market through Kakao Piccoma, its Japan-based webtoon subscription service.
It set up the European unit of Piccoma Europe in France in September last year and officially started the French service in March.
NHN, a Korean online game developer and entertainment firm, launched its English-language online web cartoon service, Pocket Comics, in France in January.
Insiders said the Korean webtoon publishers have chosen France as the country serves as a foothold for global companies trying to tap into the European digital content market thanks to its fast-growing demand.
Moreover, it is easier for Korean companies to start their European service in France as French people have a great interest in Korean culture, like K-pop and Korean TV series.
"French people are willing to purchase albums, books and DVDs that they really like," an official from NHN said. "If they like webtoons, they don't hesitate to pay." (Yonhap)