S Korea asks Google, Netflix, Meta Platforms to provide stable online services this year

Seoul: South Korea’s ICT Ministry on Thursday said it has required tech giants Google, Meta Platforms and Netflix, as well as local rivals Naver and Kakao, to comply with the country’s revised law requiring them to provide stable services.

In 2020, South Korea passed a legal revision holding online content service providers accountable if they fail to maintain stable services amid growing complaints against streaming giants Netflix and Google after their services experienced outages.

The revised law, informally dubbed the “Netflix law” in the country, applies to online service companies that account for 1 per cent or more of the country’s average daily data traffic in the last three months of the previous year and that have more than 1 million daily users.

Local streaming platform Wavve has been excluded from the regulation this year as its average traffic fell short of 1 million daily users.

The ministry said it has notified the five companies and will finalize the designation within this month after consultations with the companies.

The ministry said global tech giants made up a significant portion of the country’s daily data traffic in the final three months of 2021, with Google accounting for a whopping 27.1 per cent, followed by Netflix at 7.2 per cent and Meta at 3.5 per cent.

Among local companies, top portal operator Naver held the top spot at 2.1 per cent, followed by rival Kakao at 1.2 per cent, reports Yonhap news agency.

The five companies accounted for a total of 41.1 per cent of the country’s average daily traffic over the period.

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