Naver goes foreigner-friendly for 2018 Games

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Naver goes foreigner-friendly for 2018 Games

Naver said Tuesday it will ramp up services for foreign visitors to Korea ahead of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games.

The nation’s no. 1 web portal said it will upgrade its mobile-based map service and start reviewing other functions such as online translation and reservation services. Its goal is to provide useful services to foreigners who visit Korea for the Winter Olympics.

Han Seong-sook, who is in charge of the company’s services department, said that the Pyeongchang Games could be a stepping stone to Naver’s global expansion.

As many as 50,000 people are estimated to be coming to the games, including athletes, reporters and stakeholders in the sports industry. The provincial government is hoping to attract around 5 million tourists in total around the time of the Olympics.

Naver Map is one of the company’s main services, and developers plan to make not only a foreign language-based version but also an Open API function in order to encourage third-party programmers to use Naver maps. Domestically, Naver Map displays more detailed and accurate images than Google Maps.

Naver also laid out an ambition to introduce its live search function to foreigners. Still in the beta stage, live search brings up results based on users’ feedback, unlike the existing search algorithm that assumes users’ areas of interest through link clicks alone.

Naver’s other services based on Korean culture and entertainment such as Webtoon and online K-pop star video streamer V LIVE are also to be offered to foreigners by allowing global users to register and buy additional content.

In a press release, Naver said that it will employ more foreign students studying in Korea as interns to check from within whether its services are suitable for foreign users.


BY LEE DONG-EUN [lee.dongeun@joongang.co.kr]

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