Yahoo Pulls Out Of South Korea
October 21, 2012

Yahoo Pulling Out Of South Korea, Shutting Down Web Portal

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports — Your Universe Online

Yahoo has announced they will be closing down their South Korean web portal and ending their presence in the country by the end of the year.

According to Jung-Ah Lee of the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo Korea released a statement Friday saying the company's operation in that nation had faced "a lot of challenges" over the past few years, and the website's poor performance there had "slowed Yahoo's overall business growth" during that time frame.

The company confirmed to the Associated Press (AP) their Seoul office, which employed more than 200 people, would be closed down prior to the start of 2013.

The closing of the South Korean portal, which was launched in 1997, is part of the company's attempt to "create a stronger global business by realigning resources" under new CEO Marissa Mayer, Yahoo Korea, said in a statement, according to the wire service.

"Yahoo's South Korean market share has become negligible in recent years as users flocked to Naver, Daum and other portals operated by South Korean Internet firms," the AP reported. "Yahoo Korea was also hurt by the rapid adoption of smartphones and the mobile Internet, which made it more difficult to attract advertisers to web portals designed for desktop computers."

Lee said, as of September, Naver was tops among South Korean web portals with a 52% market share, followed by Daum with a 34% market share. In contrast, the KoreanClick market research firm reported Yahoo Korea held just a 1.5% market share, according to the Wall Street Journal. Going forward, the Korean website would be automatically forwarded to an English version of Yahoo, Lee added.

Mayer, a former Google executive, was named Yahoo CEO in July. She is the company's third chief executive in less than a year, succeeding Scott Thompson, according to Reuters reports.

Thompson, who resigned less than six months after being hired following a dispute over his academic credentials, had succeeded Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, who himself had resigned as CEO as part of an internal reorganization process, the news organization noted.