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Kakao, Naver Compete to be Korea’s Third Most Valuable Company

Kakao and Naver are South Korea's leading tech platforms. Collage by BoF.
Kakao and Naver are South Korea's leading tech platforms. Collage by BoF.

Competition is heating up between two of South Korea’s biggest platform operators.

Kakao, the mobile messaging giant whose operations now span e-commerce, advertising, content and more, saw its market capitalisation briefly overtake arch-rival, search engine portal and Line owner Naver on Monday, The Korea Times reports. By Tuesday, Kakao’s market cap of 62.8 trillion won ($56.2 billion) brought it back to fourth place, after Naver at 63 trillion won ($56.3 billion).

The companies, which both operate successful messaging, e-commerce, fintech and content businesses, have grown rapidly in the wake of the pandemic. At the end of 2020, Naver was the country’s sixth most valuable company and Kakao ranked ninth.

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