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Yahoo! shut down its Korean service on December 31, 2012.
The American multinational internet corporation once played an important role in Korea of promoting the Internet in early 1990s. However, now, it has gone to the dustbin of history. When people try to connect to Yahoo’s Korean website, it shows the corporation’s announcement that the service does not exist anymore.
Yahoo Korea’s main source of income Overture Korea, which had provided Korea’s major search engines with its technology connecting search engine users to advertisers, heard from Naver and Daum that they will not extend the contract with Overture Korea. With the loss of its main source of income in Korea, Yahoo’s headquarter in the United States decided to shut down its service in Korea.
Since Yahoo Korea announced its plan to shut down the service, the website has suggested that its users move their accounts and private information to its American website. Some of services by Yahoo Korea, such as blog, tool bar, media, and Kkureogi (a service for Korean children), will not be available, but other services including e-mail, address book, planner, or flicker will be continued for those who moved their account information to Yahoo’s U.S. website.
The e-mail service will still be available in Korean language, when users have their mail service fully upgraded. In addition, people will still be allowed to use Korean language when they want to search something in Korean at http://kr.search.yahoo.com/. However, all account information, which was not moved to the U.S. website, has already been deleted by the website.
Yahoo Korea have also stopped operating their office, so that those who want to seek help regarding Korean service should contact the U.S. office or Japanese office.
Yahoo Korea was once the most popular search engine in Korea. However, it failed to follow the rapidly changing trend led by other Korean search engines such as Naver and Daum. In 2000, Yahoo Korea had been pushed down to the third spot on the ranking of search engines in terms of a market share, and recently its market share in Korea became around one percent.
Yahoo Korea said with the statement on its Korea website, “It has been great and happy for us to give our users joyful online experiences. However, despite our efforts, Yahoo Korea has faced a financial difficulty which has deteriorated its growth.”
Now, Yahoo Korea is working on refunding money to people who had purchased Yahoo! Korea Cash online.