In contrast to China and Japan, Western social networks like Twitter and Facebook have pierced the market despite all the success of the local networks (Cyworld and Me2day). The use of Western social networks by Koreans (and Asians in general) and their commercial importance continue to increase in the eyes of the American Internet giants. So, Facebook recently opened a sales office in Singapore in order to increase its advertising revenue in Asia.
The high level of social media use by Koreans also changes the dynamic in the business world. More and more Korean companies use them to increase the visibility of their products and promotions. Online shopping centers have also been created in order to allow companies to benefit from this trend.Read More
Social media have undergone numerous recent transformations while their use has soared. According to a recent study, 25.7 million people (about half of the country’s population) visited a social network site (such as Cyworld, Facebook or Twitter) last July, compared to 16 million a year before that. Korea thus ranks second behind Russia in terms of the increasing trend of social network use growth in the world. More than 25% of the Korean population has a Cyworld account (a local social network) and nearly 90% of young people in their 20s have one. This shows the importance that these networks hold in the lives of Koreans.
Cyworld is a social network site that resembles other networks such as Facebook and Myspace. Launched in 1999, it has several services that resemble the functions of other networks, but offers a distinctive element: each user has a personal page that can be “furnished” as the user wants. Me2day, which is similar to Twitter, was set up by the search engine Naver that has experienced great success in Korea, despite the supremacy of Google. Many Korean social networks have options that resemble those on Western networks.Read More
It is thus not surprising to note that Koreans are big Internet users. One particular aspect of Korea is the existence of organised online video game leagues (such as Global Starcraft 2 League): there are official competitions based around the game Starcraft that allow professional gamers to earn a living while playing in front of a crowd of tens of thousands of people. Video games are also widespread on specialised sites and appear more and more on social networks. Social networks such as Facebook however, are precursors as Korea has only recently started showing an interest in this new way of playing. Korea is however, rapidly catching up with the others.Read More
Located between China and Japan, South Korea is a country that has developed into a high-tech hub. With one of the fastest internet networks in the world, Koreans are also enticed with the possibilities offered by their cell phones. They principally use intelligent phones to surf the Web, send emails, conduct banking transactions and access social networks. A recent governmental study has incidentally revealed that there is practically the same number of cell phones in Korea as inhabitants.Read More
As in other Asian countries, business relationships are often based on trust and personal relationships. You will certainly be invited to eat with your partners a few times during negotiations. Here are some tips and advice on table etiquette.
- It is preferable to wait for someone to assign you a seat because there is a strict protocol for deciding who should sit where.
- As elsewhere in Asia, chopsticks are the utensils used for eating. It is essential to avoid pointing at someone or something with your chopsticks, stabbing your food with them or placing them in a parallel or crossed fashion on your rice bowl.
- Wait until the older people start to eat before you do.
- It is customary to finish ones plate. If you are offered a second serving, refuse it at first before accepting it afterwards if you wish.
- If an older person gives you a drink, you should accept it with both hands and drink it with your head turned to the side so that you aren’t facing him while drinking.
Koreans are passionate about high technology which makes it one of the most digitised countries in the world: 93% of households have a high-speed Internet connection and there is approximately one computer per two residents. Indeed, Korea has the highest Internet penetration rate in Asia. Cell phones with an Internet connection are also very popular: 85% of Koreans own such a device. It is thus not surprising that printed media is no longer popular in Korea. People keep themselves informed using the web and blogs while online purchases are very popular. Of course, they prefer websites in Korean…Read More