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October 22, 2012

Yahoo to terminate South Korean operations

The move follows its struggle to compete against Google and domestic competitors

By CBR Staff Writer

Yahoo has confirmed its plans to exit its portal service operations in South Korea by the end of 2012, marking its exit from the first Asian country.

The internet firm’s move is a reaction after the company was overwhelmed by Google and domestic competitors, including NHN, Daum Communications and SK Communications, who expanded their presence into mobile advertising and online services.

Yahoo said in a statement: "Yahoo has faced several challenges in the past couple of years and decided to pull out of the (Korean) business to put more resources on global business and become more powerful and successful."

Established in 1997 to offer content, services, and install a search advertising network, Yahoo Korea has around 200-250 employees, with planned termination of Korean online portal services in December.

According to the firm, South Korean operations have experienced increasing challenges over the past few years that led to decline in its online traffic.

Following its exit from Korea, the internet firm is expected to focus more in other Asian regions including Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Hong Kong and Taiwan, where it has a 90% market share.

"We have a solid business in APAC and see a lot of opportunity for growth across our content properties, communications services and ecommerce sites," Yahoo said.

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"We’ll continue to focus on building great experiences for the millions of people across the region who come to Yahoo! every day," the firm added.

The move is also said to be a part of Yahoo’s new chief executive Marissa Mayer’s new strategy for the company.

Google veteran Mayer has joined Yahoo in July 2012, becoming its third CEO in less than a year’s period.

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