Naver acquires Canada-based website and app for writers

By Lim Chang-won Posted : January 20, 2021, 08:47 Updated : January 20, 2021, 10:25

[Courtesy of Wattpad]

SEOUL -- Naver, a leading portal service operator in South Korea, took over Wattpad, a Canada-based website and app for writers to publish new user-generated stories, to strengthen and diversify its content service targetting the global market.

Naver said in a regulatory filing on January 20 that it would acquire a 100 percent stake in Wattpad for 653.3 billion won ($594 million) to "diversify global content business and strengthen North American business."

Wattpad aims to create social communities around stories for both amateur and established writers. The platform claims to have an audience of more than 90 million users, who can directly interact with writers and share their opinions with fellow readers. A number of Wattpad users translate stories.

Naver has diversified its business portfolio to cover online shopping, entertainment, web cartoons and content services while acting as a key player in developing new technologies such as in-vehicle infotainment and cloud computing.

"We have secured more diverse global storytelling intellectual properties through Wattpad," said Naver Webtoon CEO Kim Joon-ku. "Through synergy with Wattpad, we can take a step closer to the world's best entertainment company by strengthening diversified IP capabilities."

In October 2020, Naver forged a stock swap deal with CJ Group units to expand its business clout in content and logistics. The swap involves Studio Dragon, a drama production, marketing and distribution company, and CJ ENM, an entertainment and mass media company that has played a crucial role in distributing Hallyu (Korean cultural wave). CJ ENM was the main distributor of Parasite, the Oscar-winning film directed by Bong Joon-ho.

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