South Korean online company SK Communications Co said Tuesday August 29 it has signed a contract with a Vietnamese firm to launch an internet community service in the Southeast Asian nation.
The company, a unit of South Korea’s mobile phone carrier SK Telecom Co (KSE:017670), signed the contract with iSphere Software, a Vietnamese technology firm, to set up Hanoi-based joint venture Cyworld Vietnam Inc. in September and launch the Cyworld cyber community service in the second half.
Opened in 2001, Cyworld has been a runway success in South Korea, appealing to younger generations with fancy user interfaces and various online social-networking functions. It boasts more than 10 million subscribers, a significant portion of the nation’s 48 million population.
Cyworld has been pushing to expand its network to overseas markets, including the United States, China and Japan. Vietnam, which has a high internet penetration, is the company’s sixth foreign market.
The Vietnamese market has high growth potential as the government there has been pushing to expand the number of internet users, the company said. During the last five years, the number of internet users there rose more than 40-fold to 10 million and the government has been pushing to increase the high-speed internet penetration rate by more than 30% by 2010.