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Inquivix Insights No.31 – March Issue 2022


Welcome to the last March issue of Inquivix Insights. Today, we bring you updates on new advertising trends in the South Korean start-up scene along with news of Naver and Kakao management changes.  We also look at the latest happenings in the world of South Korean eCommerce and micro-financial services.

1. Star-Studded Advertising Strategy of Startups


For a long time, “Top Star Advertising” was regarded as the domain of major businesses. However, this strategy is now trending with startups as well. Exposure through such advertising has a great impact on the awareness and subscription rates. If the marketing impact does not live up to expectations, the cost may return to being a significant burden on the budding companies. Despite the risk, many startups that featured celebrities in brand advertising have performed well.

2. Government Imposes Fines up to KRW 5 Million Won on “Phishing Real-Estate Ads”


Over 30,000 internet advertisements for apartments, displayed even after the transaction was finished, were discovered by the month of February 2022. Starting in April, the government will impose a penalty of up to KRW 5 million on businesses that continue to run these advertisements. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport of Korea announced that it had just completed an advertisement monitoring project based on real estate transaction data to discover such “phishing real-estate ads”.

3. “Naver News” Reaches 25 Million Subscribers 


Naver News “Subscription” has exceeded 25 million users in just four and a half years, according to Naver. Out of overall Naver News monthly active users (MAU), 76% were mainly subscriptions. Naver said that the increase of subscriptions in Naver News usage is due to the activation of the “in-depth planning” section and the editing functions which have been introduced to PC versions. 

4. Toss Opens “Buy Now, Pay Later” Services


Toss, a mobile financial platform operated by Viva Republica, will launch BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) services. In November 2021, Toss’ deferred payment service was acknowledged by the Financial Services Commission as an innovative financial service. It was designed to assist small filers with limited credit histories, such as teenagers and housewives, in obtaining low-cost loans. Toss’s entry into the post-payment market is expected to increase competition, as Big Tech firms such as Naver and Kakao have already entered the field.

5. Naver and Kakao to Strengthen Their Management with a Global Aim 


Both Naver and Kakao, the two internet giants of South Korea underwent changes in management. After regular shareholders’ meetings and board meetings, the management of both the companies was replaced, as well as appointing new boards of directors. Directors with competence and new leadership will be deployed to enhance global business, strengthen management, solve present problems, and support existing initiatives.

6. Kakao Talk Channel for Sellers by Gmarket and Auction


“GMarket Business,” a channel on South Korea’s most popular social network, Kakao Talk, was launched by Gmarket and Auction to interact with the vendors. This channel, according to Gmarket, was created to help vendors expand their businesses and give useful information such as special offers, seller stories, market trends, and business advice. To encourage channel usage, the firm will host a giveaway event.


In this issue of Inquivix Insights, we’ve looked at some of the most recent developments in the world of online marketing and e-commerce. The government is cracking down on phishing real estate ads, Naver News has reached 25 million subscribers, Toss is expanding its payment services, and Kakao Talk is strengthening its management with a global aim. That’s all for this issue of Inquivix Insights. Be sure to stay with us for the latest news from South Korea as we continue to bring you the most up-to-date information on all things tech and business. Thank you for reading!