Naver Corporation

Naver Corp.
Naver JH
Native name
네이버 주식회사
Traded as KRX: 035420
Industry Internet
Founded June 1999 (1999-06)
Founder Lee Hae-jin[1]
Headquarters NHN green factory, Seongnam, South Korea
Key people
Lee Hae-jin, Founder & Chairman
Kim Sang-hun, CEO
Products See list here.
Revenue Increase2,147 billion KRW (2011)
Increase620 billion KRW (2011)
Increase452 billion KRW (2011)
Number of employees
2,501 (02/26/13) [2]
Subsidiaries Line Corporation
Kim Sang-Hun, the CEO of NHN, in July 2013

Naver Corporation (KRX: 035420) is an Internet content service operator headquartered in Seongnam, South Korea. Established in 1999 as Naver Com (네이버컴), it operates the Naver search portal and Hangame gaming services.[2] The company was renamed to NHN Corporation (Next Human Network) in September 2001 to reflect its mergers in 2000. The company renamed again to Naver Corporation on October 1, 2013 to reflect the company's spin-off of its subsidiary NHN Entertainment to oversee its Hangame operations.[3]

Its subsidiaries in Japan operate the Line messaging application as well as the Japanese versions of Naver and Hangame.


Naver Com was established in 1999, operating the Naver search portal. In 2000, Naver merged with Hangame Communications, Inc., maker of online games, and a couple of other companies. In 2001, Naver Com was renamed to NHN Corporation ("Next Human Network"), although both divisions continued to operate under their original brand names. Naver and Hangame each had established affiliates in Japan in 2000. These likewise merged in October 2003 to become NHN Japan with Naver Japan and Hangame Japan as subsidiaries. In June 2004 NHN formed Ourgame, a joint venture company in China with Sea Rainbow Holdings, though NHN eventually sold its stake in October 2011. In July 2005, NHN USA was incorporated and launched the ijji game portal in May 2007. NHN sold its stake in this enterprise in December 2011.[4]

In 2008 NHN appeared on the Forbes Global 2000 list for the first time. That same year NHN had the largest market capitalization among KOSDAQ-listed companies before being transferred to the Kospi market in November. In 2009 Kim Sang-Hun of NHN and Jing-Wan Kim of Samsung were the only South Korean CEOs to appear on Asia's Fab 50.

In 2010 NHN bought Livedoor, a Japanese ISP and blog platform that claimed considerable resources but was undone by a trading scandal.[5] In June 2011, NHN Japan launched Line, a messaging application that quickly soared in usage. In 2012 NHN Corp announced that it planned to invest 1.5 billion South Korean won (approx. 1.35 million USD) in developing ten social media games.

In 2013 NHN reorganized its Japan operations. Today, Line Corporation handles Internet products while Hangame Japan continues to develop gaming applications.[6]

Korean Services

Naver, officially launched in 1999, was the first Korean web portal to develop its own search engine. The portal has since grown to offer a variety of related resources including communities, news, shopping resources, knowledge search, maps, books, email service, and browser toolbars.[7]

Hangame, Korea's first and largest online game portal, provides over 300 games for desktop and mobile devices. Genres include web-board, MMORPG, FPS, sports and educational games. Hangame also offers over 100 flash games that allow users can play without signing in.[8]

me2day is a microblog platform that allows users to share messages 150 characters in length.[9]

NHN Japan and Line

NHN Japan is the Japanese arm of NHN. NHN Japan was established to oversee Hangame Japan, the Naver Japan portal, and the Japanese ISP and blog platform Livedoor. Then in 2011 it launched a new service that acquired a life of its own.

Line, a media messaging and VoIP application, was developed in response to the devastating 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Widespread damage to Japan's telecommunications infrastructure obliged NHN Japan employees to rely on Internet tools to communicate. Engineers responded with Line, and in June the company released its new resource to the public. As of November 2013, Line has over 300 million users.[10]

The accelerating success of Line led to the creation of Line Corporation in February 2013. Line Corporation, based in Japan, now houses Internet operations such as Line, Naver Japan, and Livedoor. Hangame Japan continues to develop electronic games, including those for the Line Game brand.[6]

A joint venture of NHN and Line Corporation is Line Plus, also based in Japan. Line Plus is tasked with developing overseas markets. Line Corporation holds 60% of Line Plus shares with Korean parent NHN holding the remaining 40%.[6]

See also


  1. "The billionaire founder of web portal operator Naver Corp (035420.KS) beat back Google Inc (GOOGL.O) to leave South Korea one of few countries where the U.S. search engine does not dominate. Now, Lee Hae-jin is stepping onto the world stage with Line, a messaging app developed by a subsidiary in Japan to overcome downed communications after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami." ()
  2. 1 2 "Naver Corp (Company Description)". Businessweek. 26 September 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  3. "韓国ネットサービスのNHN 「ネイバー」に社名変更". Wow! Korea. 2013-08-01. Retrieved 2016-07-21.
  5. "S.Korea's NHN buys Japanese Internet provider Livedoor". London: The Independent. 13 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-29.
  6. 1 2 3 Matt Brian (2013-02-06). "NHN Japan spins off its Line messaging business to focus on its international expansion". TheNextWeb. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  7. "Message App Line Hits 300M Registered Users, Up From 200M 4-Months Ago — Gunning For 500M In 2014". TechCrunch. 25 November 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
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