Kakao to launch block chain platform within this year

2018.03.27 15:04:12 | 2018.03.27 15:48:37

Kakao Corp. co-CEO Joh Su-yong and Yeo Min-soo이미지 확대

Kakao Corp. co-CEO Joh Su-yong and Yeo Min-soo

Kakao Corp., South Korea’s top mobile platform company, aims to release its own block chain platform within this year, and expand its presence in the global market by acquiring overseas contents business operators.

The company’s co-chief executive officers Yeo Min-soo and Joh Su-yong announced its business strategy named Kakao 3.0 by holding a press conference on Tuesday. They said that Kakao has now entered Kakao 3.0 phase where it has to take the business to the next level in the global market by creating synergies among its services, after going through Kakao 1.0 when it launched Kakao Talk messenger and Kakao 2.0 when it broadened its business beyond the messaging service.

“We should not be complacent with our success in the domestic market and aggressively seek for opportunities in the global market to grow further,” said Joh.

Kakao plans to tap deeper into the global market by focusing on block chain technology and contents business. In order to achieve its goal to launch its own block chain platform by the end of this year, it set up a new subsidiary Ground X specializing in block chain two weeks ago in Japan. It aims to lead the global block chain industry by creating networks with global IT companies.

However, Joh flatly dismissed the rumor that it would issue a digital currency named Kakao Coin, saying that it does not have any plans to begin cryptocurrency business.

The company also plans to seek global M&A deals with $1 billion it raised in January by selling global depository receipts to overseas institutional investors. It will expand its presence beyond Japan, its strategic market for contents business, to China and South East Asian countries.

Kakao will launch its artificial intelligence (AI) development platform Kakao i Open Builder in the latter half. It is also expected to unveil results of its collaborative work with Hyundai Motor, GS Engineering & Construction and Posco Engineering & Construction.

Shares of Kakao closed Tuesday 0.38 percent at 131,500 won.

By Lee Sun-hee and Choi Mira

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