[Weekly News] What’s Happening In Korea? (10. Feb)
2013 2월 11

Mobile Messenger 'Line' to be an independent subsidiary

The mobile messenger 'Line' with more than 100 million users is to be an independent subsidiary from NHN Japan. It is anticipated that the corporation will be called 'Line Plus Co. Ltd'.

Line Plus will have 60% of the stakes and the rest (40%) will be held by NHN. The company will have approximately 150 people.

In Q4, Line made 48.3 billion KRW (approx. 48.3 million USD) which is more than a 200% increase from its Q3 - most of the profits were made by games and stamp sales.

Line aims to secure the user floor in Japan and Southeast Asia and aggressive expansion in the overseas markets.

Related News:

Korea's 1st 6-inch smartphone 'Vega Number 6' launched

Equipped with a 5.9-inch full HD display, Korea's first 6-inch smartphone 'Vega Number 6' (as pictured) was launched.

It incorporated the 'V Touch' mechanism and has a 'one-hand' control.

It has one of the highest specifications but has a low price of 849,000 KRW (approx. 849 USD).

Net profit of SK Telecom doubles its growth

Korea's top mobile operator, SK Telecom Co., reported a two-fold growth in its fourth-quarter profit from a year earlier. This due to a decrease in marketing costs. SK Telecom said in a regulatory filing that 519.1 billion won (US$477.5 million) was their net profit in the October-December period, compared with a profit of 195.5 billion KRW a year earlier in 2011.

There was also a 6% increase in revenue to 4.2 trillion KRW. Operating profit jumped 37.6 percent to 544.6 billion KRW. This was attributed to a reduction in marketing costs - SK's marketing expenses reached 754 billion won, sharply down from 851 billion won in 2011.

The three giant Korean telcos (SK Telecom, KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp.) have been slowing down their marketing drive recently amid the communications watchdog's move to cool market competition.

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