The Korea Internet Corporations Association (KICA) held a discussion session in Seoul on January 11. There, it pointed out an increasing number of bills are being proposed in the National Assembly of South Korea to put more restrictions on local Internet firms and the South Korean government is providing insufficient protection for the firms while continuing to strengthen its regulations in the industry.
The South Korean video and advertising markets are being rapidly encroached upon by foreign companies. For example, YouTube accounted for no less than 74% of the local video market in 2013 and 73% last year. Its dominant market share maintained itself while the size of the market more than doubled between 2016 and 2017 alone.
This means local companies are failing to expand their business in the rapidly expanding market. Likewise, YouTube and Facebook are currently representing 37% and 31% of the local video ad market, respectively.
“It seems that the government will continue to focus more on regulations than on assistance while mentioning corporate social responsibility and the National Assembly is making things worse,” said KICA manager Cha Jae-pil, continuing, “It is none other than foreign companies in the local industry that are taking advantage of the curbs.”
“The political community is concentrating on nothing but regulations and corporate social responsibility to go against the trend of the global Internet industry, but the Internet industry is where a level playing field and fair rules matter more than business-driven approaches,” Naver managing director Won Yoon-shik added.
Luxi director Choi Kun-hee remarked that more and more bills are emerging to hinder innovation like his companies’ carpool app and what are needed now are not the bills but effective yet minimum regulations and an environment encouraging new attempts for innovation.