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Naver Corporation

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Naver Corporation (KRX: 035420) is an Internet content service company which operates Korea's number one search portal Naver and is headquartered in Seongnam, South Korea. Naver is the fifth most used search engine in the world, following Google search, Yahoo!, Baidu and Bing. With accumulated knowledge of the industry since its launch in 1999, Naver also showcases innovative mobile services such as the mobile messenger LINE, video messenger Snow, and group communication service BAND.

Naver Corporation
Native name
네이버 주식회사
Public
Traded as KRX: 035420
Industry Internet
Founded June 1999; 18 years ago (1999-06)
Founder Lee Hae-jin[ko]
Headquarters Green Factory, Bundang, Seongnam, South Korea
Key people
Han Seong-Sook[ko], CEO
Lee Hae-jin[ko], Founder & GIO
Revenue Increase US$3.65 billion (2016)
Increase US$1 billion (2016)
Increase US$696.5 million (2016)
Number of employees
2,533 (2017)[1]
8,105 (including subsidiaries) (2017)
Subsidiaries LINE
SNOW
Camp Mobile
Naver Labs
Naver Webtoon
Naver Business Platform
Works Mobile
Website NaverCorp.com/
Kim Sang-Hun, former CEO of NHN, in July 2013

On August 1st 2013, Naver decided to split with Hangame, a corporation which it had grown together as NHN Corporation for 13 years.[2] Then, on October 1, 2013, the company adopted its current name Naver Corporation in order to reflect the change. Hangame is now overseen by NHN Entertainment. Naver's current affiliates include Line Corporation, Snow, Naver Webtoon, Naver Labs, and Naver Business Platform.

The company continues to strengthen its global competitiveness by cooperating with IT startups, while it is also evolving into a tech-based platform through research and development.

Contents

HistoryEdit

1999Edit

Naver Corporation was first established in June 1999 under the name of Naver Comm. In the same year, it introduced its search portal Naver, which quickly became the market leader in Korea. Along with the portal website came the company's service for children, Junior Naver, as well as its game platform Hangame.

2000-2012Edit

In 2000, Naver merged with Hangame Communications Inc. and several other companies including Oneque and Search Solutions. In September, it established Hangame Japan. In 2001, NAVER Comm was renamed NHN Corporation(Next Human Network), although both divisions -- Naver and Hangame -- continued to operate under their original brand names.

In 2002, the company was registered in KOSDAQ and began the world's first online Q&A service, Naver Knowledge iN. In 2003, NHN merged all Japanese subsidiaries into NHN Japan. In 2005, it began the world's first online donation portal service Happy Bean. It also established its US branch under the name NHN USA. In 2007, it established Naver Japan in order to pursue its search engine business in Japan. Meanwhile, NHN USA officially launched its American game portal service, ijji.com.

In 2008, NHN appeared on the Forbes Global 2000 list for the first time. That same year, NHN had the largest market capitalization among KOSDAQ-listed companies before being transferred to the Kospi market in November. In 2009, Kim Sang-Hun of NHN and Jing-Wan Kim of Samsung were the only South Korean CEOs to appear on Asia's Fab 50.

In 2010 NHN bought Livedoor, a Japanese ISP and blog platform, although this decision was later undone due to a trading scandal. In the same year, the company also moved into its new headquarters named the Green Factory, and established a Cultural Foundation.

In June 2011, NHN Japan launched Line, a messaging application that quickly soared in usage. In 2012, NHN Corp announced that it planned to invest 1.5 billion South Korean won (approximately 1.35 million US dollars) in developing ten social media games. In the same year, NHN Japan, Naver Japan and Livedoor were all merged into one company: NHN Japan. In August, NHN also established its Singapore branch NHN Singapore.

2013-2015Edit

In 2013, NHN launched the new corporations Camp Mobile and Line Plus. NHN also split into Naver Corporation and NHN Entertainment, the latter being formerly known as Hangame. Similarly, NHN Japan separated into Line Corporation (internet services) and Hangame Japan (game services). Data Center GAK was built in June.

In 2015, Naver Launched Works Mobile for B2B collaboration businesses and merged with Entry Education Labs, which is a software education platform company. In the same year, global revenues began exceeding 1 trillion won due to the growth of global affiliate services such as LINE.

2016-presentEdit

Naver's annual revenue for 2016 was 4.02 trillion won[3], marking it as the nation's top internet company. In 2016, Line Corporation was double listed on both NYSE and TSE. In August, it established SNOW. Naver also began Project Flower, a project that aims to support small businesses and creators by cooperating with them on various projects.

2017 was an eventful year for Naver as it established Snow, Naver Labs, and Naver Webtoon. It also opened Space Green, which is a startup space inside Station F, the world's largest startup incubator space located in France. Naver also acquired Xerox Research Centre Europe, located in the French city Grenoble, and renamed it to Naver Labs Europe.[4]

Products and servicesEdit

Based on the influence of its core search engine service, Naver has also developed new business models in online advertisement and content through continuous research and development.

Search engineEdit

Naver was the first Korean web service provider to develop its own search engine. It was also the world's first operator to introduce the integrated search service (which refers to optimized search results from various categories such as news, maps, images and so on, presented on a single page). The search engine has since grown into a website that offers a variety of related services including Knowledge iN (the world's first online Q&A platform), e-mail, map, shopping, post, webtoon, pay, TV cast, and so on. Naver Cafe and Blog are especially popular UGC platforms where users create specialized contents on various themes. 800,000 new contents are generated every day in 23 million Blogs and 10 million Cafes. Naver Dictionary supports 33 languages, and Naver Encyclopedia functions consist of a professional database with over 3 million entries. The contribution of these various services has led Naver to establish itself as the top Korean portal website. As of September 2017, the search engine handled 74.7% of all web searches in South Korea and had 42 million enrolled users. More than 25 million Koreans have Naver as the default browser start page.

The mobile application of Naver, which has 28 million daily visitors, contains more than 20 kinds of content zones. Each user can choose his or her own interests, and can then have access to numerous contents that satisfy their personal needs.

Junior NaverEdit

Junior Naver, also known as Juniver, is a children's portal service that began in 1999 with the purpose of fostering a healthy and safe internet culture for children. Junior Naver provides various services for children of each age range, such as Pororo Play Time (educational content for aged 3~5), Pany's Room (decoration simulator using Pany Pang characters), Children’s song world, and Children’s story world -- as well as a Disney Zone for Disney Channel shows and animations. In addition, by providing educational content such as Homework Helper and Hanja Adventure, Junior Naver is currently ranked in first place in terms of visitors and page views among Korean portal website for children. The application and the mobile web version were launched in 2011 and 2012 in order to provide contents in streaming form rather than having to download them. In order to ensure that children are navigating through a safe and educational internet environment, Junior Naver also operates a parental monitoring system that blocks harmful or inappropriate information.

V LIVEEdit

V LIVE is a global live streaming platform with high quality videos and contents ranging from concert broadcasts to V originals (for example, real-time private shows for celebrities). There is also a subtitle service called V FANSUB which allows users to insert their own foreign-language subtitles to the videos.[5] The subtitle feature has attracted a large number of foreign viewers, as k-pop is gaining popularity in other countries. V LIVE has 35 million total downloads and 19 million monthly users.

PapagoEdit

In July 2017, Naver launched Papago, which is an AI-based mobile translator that uses a large neural network technology named N2MT (Naver Neural Machine Translation). It can translate text and phrases in six different languages (including Korean, English, and Japanese) by analyzing context instead of simple statistical analysis.[6]

WhaleEdit

In October 2017, Naver officially released the PC version of Whale, its omni-tasking web browser supporting diverse features using AI technologies. Naver had been developing Whale for 5 years and had released a beta version in March.[7] Some special functions include: omni-tasking (split-screen feature that lets users browse two sites in the same tab, with an adjustable divider), quick search (users can simply drag a word and the browser will directly provide corresponding search results through Naver’s search engine), and smart pop-up (the browser automatically prevents popups from cluttering the screen).

ClovaEdit

Clova is an AI platform integrating speech and image recognition and artificial neural network translation to provide an interactive engine. Clova is being integrated into Naverand Line services, Naver's smart speaker WAVE, smart display FACE, and other third-party devices.

GrafolioEdit

Grafolio is a creative community space where artists can share their artworks. Grafolio supports active creators and connects them with people with the hope that they will be able to meet more fans and make reasonable profits.

Former servicesEdit

Me2dayEdit

Me2day was a microblog platform that allowed users to share messages of 150 characters in length. However, it shut down in June 2014, due to poor performance against global competitors such as Twitter and Facebook.[8]

Subsidiary companiesEdit

LineEdit

LINE Corporation was established in September 2000 as NHN Japan, and is nowadays regarded as the global subsidiary of Naver Corporation. The firm manages various services centering on its core product, the LINE Messenger, which is a free communication service available on both mobile and PC devices. Functions such as unique emoticons, stickers, and emojis contribute to its popularity as it has gathered 220 million monthly active users (MAU) in 230 countries since its launch in 2011. In 2016, the firm was double listed on NYSE and TSE.

LINE Corporation also operates the digital curation platform Naver Matome, the comprehensive news site Livedoor News, and Japan’s biggest blog service Livedoor Blog. Other family services include B612, Play, Manga, News, Pay, Taxi, BAITO, and Music. The Line News service exceeds 12 million MAU, and LINE Manga has over 11 million accumulated downloads. There are also Line-branded games such as LINE POP, LINE:Disney Tsmu Tsmu, and LINE RANGERS. Through these various services, Line Corporation has established itself as one of the largest mobile content platforms among similar service competitors in Japan.

The firm currently employs 1,979 people with headquarters located in Shibuya, Tokyo.

Line PlusEdit

LINE PLUS (LINE+) Corporation was established in Febuary 2013 with the goal of expanding LINE into the global market. It primarily handles global business operations, marketing, and partnerships for countries outside of Japan. It is located in Seohyun-si Bundang-gu South Korea and employs 1,785 people including CEO Shin Jung-ho.

CAMP MobileEdit

CAMP Mobile was established in March 2013 and focuses on developing mobile services. While it originally began as a small venture project, Camp Mobile launched over 10 different apps in areas such as utilities, social networking, and e-commerce within four months of its establishment. All Camp Mobile services are developed with global expansion in mind.

BAND, CAMP Mobile's first app released in August 2012, is a closed type of social network where groups can be formed according to type and purpose. The app exceeds 80 million downloads with global users accounting for 30% of the user base, and currently supports 10 languages in over 168 countries. Band Game was also released in May 2014 to provide a competitive platform for both users and game companies.

In 2015, the company also presented Watchmaster, an app that allows users to select their own smart watch home screen.

SnowEdit

SNOW Corporation develops a photo and video application considered somewhat similar to Snapchat, since both apps suggest video as an alternative communication tool rather than text. SNOW first began in September 2015 as a guerilla project in CAMP Mobile, but has spun off into its own company as of 2016 in order to give more focus to the global visual communication market.[9] SNOW allows users to take pictures or videos (of a maximum duration of 10 seconds) and choose from 1,300 stickers and 50 filters. They can also send them as messages that destroy themselves in 48 hours. The application has over 200 million users and has gained especially much attention from teenagers in Asian countries.

The firm is led by CEO Kim Chang-wook and its office is located in Pangyo, South Korea with approximately 200 employees.

Naver LabsEdit

NAVER LABS Corp. is Naver's R&D subsidiary developing future technologies in areas such as autonomous driving and artificial intelligence with the goal of achieving Ambient Intelligence. It first began as an R&D division within Naver in 2013, and was officially established in Pangyo in January 2017 with CEO Song Chang-Hyeon. Naver Labs has been leading Naver's innovations in technology through products such as Papago (an AI-based translation app), Whale (an omni-tasking browser), and Robotics.

Notable products include the autonomous robot Around[10], the in-vehicle information and entertainment platform Away[11], and an autonomous vehicle[12].

Naver Labs EuropeEdit

In August 2017, Naver Labs acquired Xerox Research Center Europe (XRCE) for an undisclosed amount and renamed it Naver Labs Europe.[13] The high-tech research center located in Grenoble, France now supplies more power to Naver in its competition to secure AI technology. Naver said that the acquisition of the center earned Naver 80 excellent specialists in AI research and development and technologies necessary to realize "living environment intelligence" such as autonomous driving cars and 3-dimensional indoor map production robots.[14]

Naver WebtoonEdit

In 2004, Naver Corporation launched its online comic service Naver Webtoon, which is now one of the biggest Korean webtoon platforms. The service promotes a distinct infinite canvas layout as well as an innovative weekly update system, and has gained a large amount of traction beginning from the late 2000s. In July 2014, Naver launched a global version of the service under the name of Line Webtoon. The userbase of Line Webtoon grew rapidly after the service was released globally, with 10 million people using the website or app each day. In Asia, some of the webcomics receive 5 million views per week.[15] Various movies, Korean dramas, animated series, and video games have been produced based on Naver webtoons. According to JunKoo Kim in 2014, "a total of 189 books, videos and games based on [Naver] webtoons ha[d] either been produced or [were] in the process of being made."[16] Well-known works include The Sound of Your Heart, which was developed into a web series of the same name, Noblesse, and Tower of God. Fashion King and Cheese in the Trap were also each adapted into a film and television series respectively. In 2017, Naver split off its webtoon business into the subsidiary Naver Webtoon, which is known by its alternative name Line Webtoon in foreign markets.

In addition, Naver Webtoon also manages a web-novel section specializing in online genre-novels since 2013. One of its most famous novels is Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, which was adapted into a successful television series of the same name starring Park Bo-gum and Kim Yoo-jung.

Naver Business PlatformEdit

NAVER Business Platform (NBP) is a professional IT firm that provides global IT infra management and enterprise solutions for Naver and its subsidiaries. Through 10 years of accumulated experience on IT infrastructure management, NBP contributes to the globalization and mobilization of internet services in responce to ever-changing customer demands. NBP has launched a cloud service called NAVER CLOUD PLATFORM, and has also created an environment-friendly Data Center called GAK, which was a first for a national portal site.

The Data Center GAK was opened in June 2013 in order to safely protects the data of several million users in its servers. It consists of 4 server buildings built on a scale of 7 soccer stadiums (54,229m2). The name of the center comes from ‘Jang Gyung Gak’, a traditional building that houses the famous Tripitaka Koreana. Jang Gyung Gak is respected for having safely protected important historical records even in the face of foreign invasion, and continues to preserves them in a manner that is both environmentally friendly and scientifically advanced. Likewise, the Data Center Gak inherits this spirit of protection and provides safe housing for current historical records so that they can be passed on to the future. The Center incorporates environmentally friendly technology that cools the heat generated from the servers, and in 2009, it has received the top LEED platinum award with 95 points, which is the highest score in the world for a data center.

Works MobileEdit

Works Mobile Corporation provides a cloud-based office service called LINE WORKS for B2B purposes. Functions include Mail, Calendar, Address Book, N drive, and Web-Office. Works Mobile has users mainly in Korea and Japan, but also targets the global B2B market with help from operation know-how of NBP(Naver Business Platform) and Naver.

Projects and foundationsEdit

Happy Bean FoundationEdit

Happy Bean began as Korea's first online donation platform in July 2005, connecting potential contributors with public organizations in need of assistance. Its concept was to make online donating easier and more convenient by using a special digital currency called 'beans', while also providing information about social welfare organizations and various donation campaigns. Ever since, Happy Bean has led a new donation trend where users can donate on a daily basis more easily, without having to go through any complicated processes. The Happy Bean Foundation was established in May 2009 in order to handle the overall business operations of Happy Bean. As of October 2017, the foundation has received a total donation of 75 billion won with 14 million participants and about 6 thousand participating organizations.

DeviewEdit

Deview is a conference hosted by Naver since 2008, where developers from various countries share their technical knowledge and experience. Through several dozens of sessions, participants share in-depth knowledge in fields such as web, mobile, AI, big data, deep learning, robotics, and many more. In 2017, 2,500 tickets went out in only 15 seconds.[17]

Cultural FoundationEdit

Naver Cultural Foundation, officially established in 2010, is devoted to creating online and offline cultural spaces where people can rediscover and discuss various forms of culture.

Connect FoundationEdit

Connect Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization established by Naver in 2011. It serves public interest by providing equal educational opportunities for everyone. It promotes the dissemination of IT education as well as basic science and engineering education projects. Programs include public online classes, software training, math/science education, and design courses. In September 2017, Naver announced plans to donate 7 billion won (6.2 million dollars) to the Connect Foundation. As a result, Naver's total amount of donations to the Connect Foundation accumulated to 12 billion won (10.6 million dollars).[18]

D2 Startup FactoryEdit

D2 Startup Factory (D2SF) is an investment project that was launched in May 2015 with the goals of vitalizing the domestic tech start-up environment and fostering talents. As of 2017, it has invested in 16 start-ups with notable technical skills in areas such as AI, hardware, VR/AR and IoT. For example, in August 2017, it announced its investments in AI startups Furiosa AI, Deepixel, and CrowdWorks.[19] In September of the same year, D2SF held a Demo Day where it presented four start-ups that they were also investing in: Buzzmusiq (social visual playlist platform), Elice (online education platform for coders), Widevantage (producer of smart pens for iPad), and The Wave Talk (technology that automatically filters bacteria and drains contaminants from running water).[20]

Project FlowerEdit

In 2016, Naver launched Project Flower, the company’s long-term project to provide meaningful platform services that small enterprises and creators can utilize to maximum benefits and reap success.[21]

Corporate affairs and cultureEdit

Employees and cultureEdit

As of 2017, Naver has 2,533 employees (8,105 including subsidiaries).[22]

In 2014, Naver was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellent Enterprise in equal employment division by the ministry of Labor.

Green FactoryEdit

Naver's headquarters, located in Bundang gu Seongnam-si of South Korea, is referred to as the Green Factory.

The construction of the Green Factory was completed in March 2010 with 27 floors above ground and 7 floors underground. It is known as an area that contains the company's unique culture and values. In fact, the interior of the building was designed to provide as open an environment as possible. The intent was to create spaces or zones which foster better communication between employees. Green Factory’s office spaces are designed like pods, which focus on a central open meeting area, and have meeting rooms, mailboxes, canteens, and tables for meetings. Most of the central meeting spaces have non-traditional furniture and continue the casual theme found throughout the rest of the interior. The emergency stairs sport different patterns or designs instead of the typical painted concrete finish.

The steel and glass façade houses adjustable vertical louvers which restrict or allow sunlight to enter the building. On special occasions, the louvers display different messages or pictures, and internal light is selectively blocked by a nocturnal automated louver system. The building is certified as “platinum” under the global green building design rating system LEED.[23]

Global officesEdit

Naver currently holds global offices in Japan, US, China, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Thailand.[24]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ ([1])
  2. ^ "네이버-한게임 13년 만에 분리 '독자경영' 체제로". inews24. Retrieved 2017-11-15. 
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  4. ^ "Le Coréen Naver rachète le centre de recherche de Xerox à Grenoble - Le Monde Informatique". LeMondeInformatique (in French). Retrieved 2017-11-16. 
  5. ^ "생방송 플랫폼 `실시간 번역`으로 해외 공략". Retrieved 2017-11-15. 
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  15. ^ Arrant, Chris (2016-08-22). "Inside LINE Webtoon & Its 10 Million Daily Readers". Newsarama. 
  16. ^ Brown, Elizabeth (2014-08-23). "Op-Ed: LINE Webtoon, a Web comic service, makes U.S. and global debut". Digital Journal. 
  17. ^ "15초 만에 참가신청 마감된 개발자 콘퍼런스 '데뷰 2017'". hankyung.com (in Korean). 2017-10-16. Retrieved 2017-11-17. 
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  20. ^ "네이버 D2SF, 투자 스타트업 비전 공유 '데모데이' 진행". 뉴스웨이. Retrieved 2017-11-17. 
  21. ^ Herald, The Korea (2016-11-22). "Naver to become tech platform for small businesses, creators". Retrieved 2017-11-17. 
  22. ^ "NAVER : NAVER소개 : NAVER". www.navercorp.com (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-11-17. 
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  24. ^ "Overview : Company : NAVER". www.navercorp.com. Retrieved 2017-11-16. 

External linksEdit