South Korean internet giant Naver Corp. aims to become the No.1 search engine and e-commerce platform in Japan over the next few years through a strengthened partnership with Japanese multinational conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp.
Naver has set a target of gaining 50% of the Japanese search engine market by 2025 and the e-commerce market by 2027, industry sources said on Sunday, adding that its strategic partner SoftBank will back the bold plan. from the Korean Internet giant.
Naver and SoftBank have already tested the âsmart storeâ, Naver’s successful e-commerce platform in Korea, Japan by launching its beta version last month for its official launch early next year. Both partners saw a new opportunity in the e-commerce market which has grown rapidly in Japan since the pandemic.
Naver also plans to expand its presence in the B2B and B2B industries in Japan, where 95% of companies listed on the stock exchange with 100 billion yen ($ 885 million) are SoftBank customers.
The latest move is part of the efforts of the two partners to bring Naver’s technological prowess to global markets. They have already formed a partnership in other new areas of growth such as the artificial intelligence-based digital platform. They are working to bring the HyperClova AI language solution to market in Korean and Japanese next year. In the metaverse industry, Naver Labs is working with SoftBank on creating high-definition maps of cities in Japan for real-world replication in the digital environment.
Strategic investments are also underway.
SoftBank’s venture capital fund Vision Fund has invested around 175 billion won ($ 148 million) in Naver Z, operator of Naver’s âZepetoâ metaverse platform.
Naver will also invest 170 billion won in SoftBank’s e-book business in an effort to strengthen ties with its online comic book service Line Manga in Japan.
Their existing collaborative efforts are already bearing fruit.
Z Holdings, which Naver and SoftBank co-manage the IT business in Japan, reported 18% year-on-year growth in operating profit in the third quarter of this year with a 35% increase in revenue. Z Holdings’ share price hit a 15-year high last month, bringing the value of Naver’s shares in the company to 19 trillion won.
By Lim Young-shin and Cho Jeehyun
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