Thursday, May 15, 2008

[The Chosun Ilbo, April 21 2008] Foreign Web Giants Find Little Success in S.Korea

Is South Korea a graveyard for overseas Internet companies? American Internet heavies such as Google, YouTube and MySpace, leaders of the so-called "web 2.0" frenzy, face heavy odds in South Korea. Why is it that these companies boast astronomical numbers of subscribers and users in many other markets around the world but find little luck here?

MySpace, the world's largest online social network, launched a Korean service last week, but local portal and blog users have given the new service the cold shoulder. "I signed up out of curiosity, but I canceled my membership soon after because I found it un-user friendly," a Korean blogger reported. Another blogger said, "MySpace isn't new or interesting for Korean users who are already familiar with online communities like Cyworld."

Google and YouTube are also having a hard time here. Since it launched its Korean-language service in 2006, Google, the world's top Internet search engine, has earned a mere 2 percent-range share of the local Internet portal market. YouTube launched a Korean-language service in January. But while the world's largest video sharing website boasts about 30 million visitors per month in the U.S., in Korea it has only about one-tenth the number of users as PandoraTV, South Korea's No. 1 video sharing website.

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