Internet usage in South Korea - Statistics & Facts

South Korea is one of the best-connected countries in the world. In 2018, the internet penetration rate was at around 96 percent while the internet usage rate was at 91.6 percent South Korea’s digital infrastructure is highly developed due to government-established policies and programs which enabled the nation-wide adoption of broadband internet as the subsequent development of wireless broadband technologies. A survey found that internet users between 20 and 29 years old spend around 24.2 hours on the internet per week – around 14.4 percent of their time.

As of January 2019, the website with the highest reach on PC was naver.com without around 92 percent. Naver is an online platform owned and operated by Naver Corporation. The website is built around a self-developed search engine, but offers other services such as blogs, web comics (also called webtoons), a web broadcast network and more. After its launch in 1999, Naver filled the void of websites in Korean language and became one of the first websites to focus on user-generated content. Despite more international websites being available in Korean, many users still tend to prefer domestic websites.

International social media, like Facebook and Instagram, are gaining popularity in South Korea, but many still use domestic services, like Naver BAND. BAND is a mobile community application that lets its users communicate in groups, organize offline groups and find new groups based on their interests. Another example would be South Korea-based KakaoTalk, a popular mobile messenger used around 98.5 percent of all mobile messenger users.

South Korea is the home country of smartphone giant Samsung. The country was one of the early adopters of smartphones and they soon became an integral part of the everyday lives of South Koreans. Around 94.1 percent of internet users access internet via their smartphone. The mobile internet usage rate is at around 90.4 percent as of 2018. Since mobile internet usage is an integral part of the lives of many South Koreans, it is not surprising it was the first country to deploy nation-wide 5G service.

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Internet usage in South Korea

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