Kakao to compensate small businesses in cash for massive service disruption

SEOUL– Kakao Corp., the operator of South Korea’s most popular mobile messenger, KakaoTalk, said Thursday it will give cash compensation to all small business owners for damage caused by the massive service disruption stemming from a fire at its data center.

The fire at a building that houses Kakao’s data center in Pangyo, just south of Seoul, on Oct. 15, affected nearly all online services provided by Kakao, ranging from KakaoTalk to Kakao Bank and the traffic app Kakao T. The malfunction lasted for about five days.

According to Kakao’s compensation plan, those who reported losses of 300,000 won (US$237) or less due to the service disruption will receive 30,000 won in compensation, while businesses with 300,000-500,000 won in damage will be granted 50,000 won.

The company said it will also give three kinds of free emoticons to KakaoTalk users who suffered from the outage.

Many small businesses and mom and pop store owners use KakaoTalk, the most popular mobile messenger in the country of 51 million people, with 43 million monthly active users, as a platform to do their online business.

KakaoTalk offers services that link small businesses like flower delivery shops and delivery-only restaurants with customers, while its log-in verification function is widely used by other major websites.

Kakao has received complaints from its clients since the incident, with more than 100,000 cases being reported.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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