Park Jung-ho, SK Telecom’s chief executive
South Korea’s top wireless carrier SK Telecom Co. on Friday denied it was selling e-commerce platform 11st.com, stressing its resolve to build the online marketplace as one of its new growth engines, but suggested strategic partnership may be in the making.
Park Jung-ho, SK Telecom’s chief executive, dismissed the sale rumors in a recent executive meeting, saying that “11st is central to the company’s plan to mix wireless and retail for future revenue growth.”
New innovations like artificial intelligence, internet of things, and big data are dramatically changing the consumption pattern, and SK Telecom will seek various ways to lead the future online market through 11st, he said.
“There cannot be a winner-take-all in the age of the fourth industrial revolution. Openness and collaboration are essential for survival,” he said.
“We hope to create the biggest Korean-led e-commerce habitat through mergers and partnerships with various players,” he said.
SK Telecom will combine its expertise in telecommunications with 11st’s online commerce to create a singular e-commerce platform with unrivalled services, Park added.
SK Telecom owns a 98.5 percent stake in 11st. The online marketplace run by SK Planet commanded a transaction value of over 4.2 trillion won in the first half of the year.
SK Planet has reportedly been in talks with Korean retail giants Lotte Group and Shinsegae Group for a stake sale and partnership alliance.
The e-market platform posted an operating loss of 200 billion won last year.
By Seo Dong-cheol
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]