Google, Netflix and Meta on the annual 'Netflix law' list
Three large tech companies from the United States and two from Korea will be required to meet certain performance standards set out by the government.
The Ministry of Science and ICT said on Thursday that the five companies are Google, Netflix, Meta, Naver and Kakao. Meta is Facebook's parent.
Under a revision to the Telecommunications Business Act that went into effect in December 2020, technology firms of a certain size that operate online services must "provide users with convenient and stable telecommunications services."
It is known as the Netflix law.
The list published Thursday is the second such list.
Standards to be met are vague but include maintaining stable services by setting up additional servers when needed and promptly dealing with user requests. Foreign-based services must provide quality Korean translations for their services.
The thresholds for inclusion on the list are more than 1 million daily users and more than 1 percent of Korea's network traffic, and these company's met this standard in the October-to-December period last year.
Google had 27.1 percent of Korea's traffic, Netflix 7.2 percent, Meta 3.5 percent, Naver 2.1 percent and Kakao 1.2 percent.
Content Wavve, which operates the Wavve streaming service, was included in the 2021 list but taken off this year as its number of daily users was under 1 million.
The ministry says it will publish the list every year using the October-to-December figures from the previous year.
Google and Meta must designate a domestic agent as they do not have a Korean office dedicated to user-protection duties. Netflix carries out its user protection obligations through Netflix Services Korea.
The ministry has informed each company and the plan will be finalized this month after discussions with the companies, the ministry said.
It will also recommend companies that are not obligated by the law follow the guideline to provide good services to users.
"We will make sure to minimize hiccups in telecommunication services by taking preemptive measures and fully protect users by mandating overseas operators by running a domestic agent system," the ministry said.
BY YOON SO-YEON [firstname.lastname@example.org]