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Kakao spins off e-commerce unit

South Korean mobile messaging platform Kakao is spinning off its e-commerce unit for further expansion.

The new organisation will be Kakao’s largest spin-off, worth about KRW510.3 billion (US$458.6 million) by December. It will take over the operation of the Kakao Gifts, Shopping, Kakao Style and Kakao Farmer services.

Kakao has also made plans to acquire global e-commerce firms and has expressed being open to securing additional funds through its spin-off.

A spokesperson for the company said: “We are indeed open to securing additional investments after the process is completed. But at the moment we do not have any specific plans.”

Kakao’s e-commerce business is weak in comparison with industry leader Naver, achieving only one seventh of the sales of its competitor. Its messenger service, conversely, remains dominant in its market.

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