Top Korean Messenger App Partly Restored After Hours-Long Outage
Operations at affiliates such as KakaoBank, Kakao Mobility and Kakao Games have also partly come back on line.
Some services at South Korea's No. 1 messenger app have been restored, operator Kakao Corp. said Sunday, after a weekend outage caused an hours-long disruption to everything from communications to banking.
Transmission of text messages on the app has been restored, although it is still unstable and photos and videos can't be sent, Kakao said in a statement. Operations at affiliates such as KakaoBank, Kakao Mobility and Kakao Games have also partly come back on line.
Kakao's co-chief executive officers have apologized, saying a data-center fire on Saturday cut power supply to servers. Naver, a rival tech giant that runs Korea's biggest portal website, also experienced disruptions in operations including news, blogging and shopping.
Kakao said it had data backed up at sites across the nation but didn't explain why it wasn't able to get its emergency system running immediately after the fire. The disruption has sparked an angry reaction from the Korean public online, with one lawmaker saying he plans a probe into the incident.
The outage laid bare Korea's deep reliance on a messenger app that has allowed Kakao to expand into internet banking, taxi hailing, mobile shopping, cryptocurrency trading and even character merchandise through its growing number of affiliates.
Similar to WeChat in China or Line in Japan, the app has seeped into almost every aspect of public life in Korea since being launched in 2010 by former Samsung SDS worker Brian Kim. Government adoption has boosted its usage, with Koreans allowed to pay bills and taxes on it. The central bank has also announced its interest-rate decisions via KakaoTalk since Covid outbreaks made public events difficult.
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