Kakao CEO discusses future of mobile platforms

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Kakao CEO discusses future of mobile platforms

Lee Seok-woo, CEO of the nation’s No. 1 mobile messenger provider Kakao, offered tips for the mobile communications market’s success in his keynote address at the Mobile Asia Expo (MAE) in Shanghai yesterday.

The annual MAE, in its third year, is the largest information and communications industry exhibition in Asia. It is attended by Asia’s major mobile communications companies such as Huawei, Mozilla, NTT DoCoMo, ZTE, SK Telecom and KT. The companies gather to share information and showcase technologies at the expo, which is hosted by Groupe Speciale Mobile Association, an international association of mobile operators.

Lee, who in February was the first keynote speaker from a domestic start-up company to address the Mobile World Congress, again shared Kakao’s strategies and explained to MAE attendees how the company has grown into a comprehensive mobile platform.

“The key to Kakao’s success in achieving fast growth began with the question of how and [to] whom we should connect with, instead of asking how to generate profits by selling certain products,” Lee said.

“Since then, we focused on becoming a smart connector, creating new values through innovations based on connectivity and communication. We could grow the general messenger into a mobile social platform for the first time in the world as we put continuous effort into developing platforms that provide new values to users in terms of content, social and marketing activities.”

The CEO said that the company accommodated users’ requests by expanding its mobile messenger into a mobile social platform that now has users worldwide.

Lee also mentioned Kakao’s recent merger with the nation’s No. 2 portal company Daum Communications, saying it is aimed at further growing Kakao internationally.

“The merger was made to turn the company into a global platform, where we can open a new chapter for innovation and bring in a variety of industries such as search, advertising, information and mobile communication,” Lee said.

No. 1 mobile carrier SK Telecom signed a deal with Chinese home robot retailer JSD to sell 30,000 smartphone-powered education robots.

The nation’s No. 2 wireless operator KT demonstrated Voice over LTE (VoLTE) in cooperation with China’s largest mobile carrier China Mobile. When KT users visit China and when China Mobile customers travel to Korea, they can use the LTE network for voice and video calls rather than the existing 3G network.

BY KIM JUNG-YOON [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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