As of today (December 31), Yahoo has officially withdrawn from South Korea – with users logging on to the page simply greeted with a notification of the site’s shutdown.

After 15 years of presence within the country, the move marks the first time the search engine giant has had to withdraw from an Asian nation.

The move comes as part of Yahoo! CEO and President, Marissa Mayer’s, shift away from conventional SEO and search, in favour of pushing forward with mobile offerings – something she believes is better suited to help capitalise on the firm’s existing strengths.

Mayer outlined plans to withdraw from Korea back in October, stating that the decision was part of the firm’s efforts to, “streamline operations and focus our resources on building a stronger global business that’s set up for long-term growth and success.”

Yahoo found it hard to compete against opposition such as NHN Corp. and Daum Communications Corp., with those firms responsible for two of  Korea’s most visited Web sites – Naver.com and Daum.net. In fact, the firm had struggled prior to the announcement of its withdrawal from Korea, seeing its share of the search engine market in the country slump to only one per cent.

Around 200 employees worked at the South Korean unit, predominately on editorial content and also handling the company’s advertising efforts.

Yahoo! is not the first firm to struggle in South Korea as brands such as HTC and Motorola also struggled in the face of competition from the country’s own LG and Samsung brands.

Despite struggling in South Korea, on a more global picture, Yahoo! still has around 700 million users visiting its website each month and still ranks top globally as an Internet destination.

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