Yahoo Bids Farewell to South Korea, Completes Exit

After 15 years, Yahoo completed its exit from South Korea today, reports Yonhap News Agency. This move also marks the first Asian market that Yahoo is leaving.

The company announced earlier this month that it planned to close down its South Korea web portal at the end of December. Since then, users who go onto the site have been greeted with a message that says it will be shut down by December 31 (link via Google Translate).

Back in October, Yahoo announced that it would pull out of South Korea by the end of 2012 as CEO Marissa Mayer focuses on stronger markets. At that time, it cut about 200 jobs in that country. In a statement then, Mayer said “this decision is part of our efforts to streamline operations and focus our resources on building a stronger global business that’s set up for long-term growth and success.” As Yonhap notes, Yahoo was overshadowed in South Korea by local portal operators NHN and Daum Communications, and claimed less than 1 percent of that country’s search market by the time it made its decision to pull out. Yahoo has also been cutting its less successful properties in other Asian countries: earlier in December, the Sunnyvale-based company shuttered its Chinese music service.

Yahoo is not the only company that has exited South Korea because it was unable to withstand local competition. Others include Motorola and HTC, which were run off by Samsung and LG’s stronger sales.