A fire broke out in the SK data center in the new city of Banqiao, south of Seoul, last Saturday (17th), causing the communication, payment, games and other services of the Korean Internet company Kakao to be interrupted for more than several hours, causing serious impact on local citizens.
Affected by the fire, KakaoTalk, KakaoBank, mail and map services, the largest communication software in South Korea, were also interrupted. The incident aroused criticism of the Korean people’s dependence on Kakao, which eventually caused Kakao’s stock price to plummet by 9.5%, breaking the low since May 2020. Kakao said on Monday (17th) that the company will do its best to improve the problem when service is fully restored, saying the impact of the accident on its revenue will be limited.
South Korean President Yoon Seok-yue immediately ordered the local government to provide support for Kakao’s restoration of services, and described the incident as a national security issue, so a cybersecurity working group will be established to investigate. He also said on Monday (17th) that although the Kakao network is operated by private companies, it is actually a national communication infrastructure, so if the monopoly causes market distortions, the government should act like other national infrastructures. Some local lawmakers criticized Kakao for lacking a contingency plan, saying that regulations such as the existing broadcasting law may be introduced or revised.
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