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S. Korea firm takes on global mobile message services

12 april 2011, 13:21
Photo courtesy of article.wn.com
Photo courtesy of article.wn.com
Kakao, the developer of South Korea's fast-growing mobile messenger service, said Monday it would set up subsidiaries in the United States and Japan in a bid to take on Facebook and Twitter, AFP reports.

"It may seem like a David vs. Goliath battle, but our competitors are Facebook and Twitter," Kakao chief Kim Beom-Soo told reporters, adding that the subsidiaries would be established this year.

The company launched its free mobile messenger application, Kakao Talk, in March last year, and has succeeded in replacing text messages and emails for many South Korean smartphone users.

Kim said his company aims to attract 20 million users by the end of this year.

Kakao Talk has so far lured about 10 million users, including one million abroad, as the explosive growth of smartphones pushed users to seek a free-of-charge messenger.

The service is available in 216 countries.

In addition to free wireless messaging, Kakao allows users to share photos and videos and take part in group chats.

Official data showed gadget-mad South Korea had about 51 million mobile phone subscribers at the end of February, more than the population of 48.8 million.

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