- Naver Corp. is planning to support streaming of 4K content on mobile platforms following the launch of fifth-generation (5G) mobile network service in March.
- Naver is beginning the transition away from its busy homepage in favor of a simple, Google-like experience.
- Samsung Electronics will likely benefit from a series of moves by the United States and Europe to ban China’s Huawei from building fifth-generation (5G) networks there, as the Korean company is seeking to establish a stronger presence in the global 5G equipment market.
- Samsung Electronics unveiled new wearable devices, rebranded under its signature Galaxy brand, when launching its latest Galaxy S10 premium smartphone. The wireless earbuds can be charged on the back of the Galaxy S10 because of the phone’s wireless charging feature. They are expected to sell for 190,000 won (US$169).
- Samsung confirmed its latest flagship phone Galaxy S10 will include a dedicated secure storage function designed for cryptocurrency private keys in the form of the Samsung Knox. It will have wallet functions for Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin (BTC), the COSMEE token (COSM) and Enjin’s token (ENJ). COSMEE is a blockchain-enabled mobile beauty decentralized app (DApp), while Enjin is a cryptocurrency wallet.
- Samsung Electronics unveiled its first foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, featuring the world’s first 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display, which folds into a compact device with a cover display, offering a new way of multitasking, including watching videos and playing games.
- Samsung Electronics will release a full lineup of 8K QLED TVs with upscale features for the global market to expand its presence in the growing premium segment. Samsung says its new lineup will have an image resolution four times more vivid than its 4K counterparts. The 8K TV will come in only four sizes in South Korea, with its price ranging from 7.3 million won (US$6,482) to 25.9 million won.
- Samsung Electronics has introduced robots to help people cook, clean, and undertake other household chores. The robots are Samsung Bot Chef, a robotic arm that works as a cooking assistant; Samsung Bot Clean, a vacuum cleaner robot; and Chef Garden refrigerator that allows consumers to grow their own vegetables inside a refrigerator. The Bot Chef is designed to help not only general users but also disabled people as it can cut or chop ingredients or mix sauces using its robotic arm.
- Samsung Electronics has completed chipset development for fifth-generation network base stations. The core components of the 5G chipsets are mmWave radio frequency integrated circuits and digital/analog front-end ASICs, supporting 28-gigahertz and 39-gigahertz bands.
- LG Electronics will install a 3D sensor in its upcoming premium smartphone G8 ThinQ for enhanced selfie photography and security features, Crystal Sound OLED tech it first applied in its TVs that uses the screen as a speaker, 5G and a detachable secondary screen.
- LG Electronics and Naver’s R&D subsidiary Naver Labs Corp. will collaborate on R&D of robot technology.
- LG Electronics released its latest mid-range smartphone, Q9 One, which comes with smart functions at a reasonable price. The Korean electronics maker said Q9 One runs on Android One, the “pure” version of the Android operating system that Google shares with device makers.
- SK Telecom has teamed up with the world’s third-largest ride-hailing service provider Grab to bring its popular navigation app T Map to Southeast Asian countries.
- SK Telecom’s two techniques related to quantum cryptography communications have been adopted for international standardization projects at a recent ITU-T conference in Geneva, Switzerland. The two techniques are related to a system for quantum key distribution in a communications network and a method for using an existing encryption scheme for quantum key distribution.
- SK Telecom unveiled its smart office systems incorporated with new information and communications technologies such as fifth-generation (5G) networks and artificial intelligence (AI) including a 5G walking-through system to improve workplace convenience and efficiency.
- SK Telecom will launch a virtual reality (VR) racing game for 5G smartphones in the first half of this year. SK Telecom has signed a licensing agreement with the nation’s leading game developer, Nexon Co., to use three of its popular online games — KartRider, Crazy Arcade and Bubble Fighter, for development of its VR game.
- SK Telecom and Microsoft will release big data analytics systems based on cloud computing, in a bid to target the 11 trillion won ($9.8 billion) global big data market. Under the deal, SK Telecom plans to launch its big data analyzer Metatron on Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure.
- SK Telecom Co. will join hands with Deutsche Telekom AG to develop a blockchain platform for digital identification to improve access and security. The platform will be capable of storing all IDs in one place to provide convenient and secure authentication for e-commerce, transactions and public sectors.
- SK Telecom and Singapore’s Singtel will cooperate on gaming and e-sports in Asia.
- The partnership enables SK Telecom to expand its games business and increase the profile of its e-sports team in the Singtel Group’s markets in Southeast Asia via existing channels.
- Kakao has joined the race to acquire control of Nexon, one of the nation’s major game firms. Private equity firms and entertainment firms are said to be interested in the megadeal, which is estimated to be worth 13 trillion won ($11.6 billion).
- Netmarble is in the running to acquire a major stake in Nexon and has been working on the deal for months. The announcement came just one day after Kakao said it is considering a bid for the international gaming company. For both Kakao and Netmarble, the acquisition could create synergies with their existing game businesses.
- Nokia and Korean telecom operator KT will collaborate and trial various 5G technologies, including network function virtualization and network slicing. The joint work will include service orchestration and assurance. The trials are planned to take place in Seoul later this year.
- KT is launching a mobile application that tracks fine dust levels over the Korean Peninsula. The app, called Air Map Korea, allows users to access a real-time big data analysis of fine dust concentrations for a particular region.
- KT plans to expand its overseas network to 100 gigabits per second to handle Netflix’s increased data volume and traffic.
- KEB Hana Bank, part of Hana Financial Group, has completed 46 patent applications for methods and systems for purchasing overseas products, systems and methods for electronic contracts and methods and systems for providing digital asset services using blockchain.
- LG CNS is expanding its reach into the cloud business for the financial sector, joining hands with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to launch a hybrid service combining private and public cloud computing.
- SoftBank Ventures Korea has rebranded to SoftBank Ventures Asia in the new year as it increases its focus on Southeast Asia and China. Softbank Ventures Asia will form a new investment fund dedicated to artificial intelligence startups in Asia with “globally disruptive” products and services this year. The venture capital arm of Japan’s SoftBank Group plans to establish within the year a new global investment fund to back promising AI startups in Asian countries other than China.
- SsangYong Motor Co., the South Korean unit of Indian carmaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., tested a partially self-driving system on its upcoming sport utility vehicle set to be unveiled in March.
- Incheon International Airport will incorporate AI into its security systems to improve accuracy in screening passenger luggage for prohibited items. The airport has started working on the project to develop an AI-based X-ray screening system to be tested in the second half of next year.
- South Korea’s new unicorn and leading food delivery provider, Woowa Brothers, has acquired Vietnamese food delivery company Vietnammm. Vietnammm had acquired Foodpanda’s Vietnam operations in 2015. Woowa Brothers has been eyeing the Vietnamese market since last year.
- Woowa Brothers’ Robot-Delivered Jajangmyeon Noodles will be coming to Seoul soon. Dilly robots will start deliveries within three years. Woowa Brothers Corp., the company behind Baedal Minjok, raised $320 million from Hillhouse Capital, Sequoia Capital and GIC in December to help develop a prototype that’s set to roll out later this year.
- Yanolja, Korea’s No. 1 accommodation app, has acquired Garam Information System, which is the number one company in room management automation system. The acquisition will provide more stable customer support services to hospitality executives, as well as offer differentiated room management automation solutions to run hotels at minimal cost.
- Coupang and HP Korea will strengthen sales channels for the technology company’s products. Coupang will directly acquire HP products from the company, providing customers with better deals. HP Korea will also ensure faster delivery times and improve product services.
- South Korea’s Yura Tech, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of electric vehicle components, is to invest 6.5 million euros in a new automobile ignition plant in Albania. Yura will begin Albanian operations later 2019, initially employing about 600 people.The second phase of the project foresees further investment of about 13 million euros with the number of employees to increase to 1,100, while long-term plans include the opening of two other factories in Albania.
- Visa is planning to unveil an innovation center in South Korea as it looks to work with fintech start-ups for its payment ambitions.
- Renault S.A. will join forces with South Korean businesses and researchers to develop autonomous driving technology, with an aim to apply the knowhow to the French carmaker’s electric vehicles.