A Closer Look At Korea ICT Industry

As one of the global leaders in technology innovation, Korea’s ICT sector continues to captivate the world with its groundbreaking advancements and pioneering initiatives. In …

As one of the global leaders in technology innovation, Korea’s ICT sector continues to captivate the world with its groundbreaking advancements and pioneering initiatives. In this series, we’ll explore the latest trends, innovations, and key players shaping South Korea’s ICT landscape.

From cutting-edge developments in artificial intelligence and cloud computing to the rise of tech giants and startups, join us as we unravel the intricacies of South Korea’s thriving ICT ecosystem. Whether you’re an industry enthusiast, a tech aficionado, or simply curious about the future of technology, this blog is your gateway to understanding the pulse of South Korea’s ICT industry.

Korea ICT Industry Overview

Market size and growth trends

According to recent analytics, the market size has surged consistently, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.61% over the next five years, reaching a value of $93.88 billion by 2027. This growth rate is expected to continue, fueled by the expanding adoption of cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity solutions among businesses of all sizes.

The ICT services market in Korea has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, driven by several factors including technological advancements, digital transformation initiatives across industries, and increasing demand for software solutions and support services.

Key Players in Korea ICT Industry

South Korea’s ICT sector has a rich legacy of innovation and is the birthplace of several global technology giants that have influenced the worldwide tech scene. 

Some of the most prominent South Korean ICT companies include: 

  • Samsung Electronics: Renowned worldwide for its expertise in consumer electronics, semiconductors, and mobile technology, Samsung has been a pioneer in smartphones, memory chips, and various display technologies. 
  • LG Electronics: Another significant player in the consumer electronics domain, LG is celebrated for its line-up of televisions, home appliances, and mobile devices. 
  • SK Hynix: A leading semiconductor manufacturer specializing in memory chips, SK Hynix’s products serve as essential components in numerous electronic devices across the globe. 
  • Hyundai Motor Group: Although primarily recognized for its automotive ventures, Hyundai Motor Group has been actively investing in autonomous driving and electric vehicle technologies, contributing significantly to the advancement of the ICT sector. 
  • Naver Corporation: A prominent internet company in South Korea, Naver offers a range of services including the Naver search engine, webtoons, and various other online platforms. 
  • Kakao Corporation: Widely recognized for its messaging app KakaoTalk, Kakao has expanded its portfolio to include an array of digital services such as fintech and content delivery.  
  • Netmarble: A leading mobile game developer and publisher, Netmarble has made significant contributions to the global gaming industry. 
  • SK Telecom: As a major telecommunications provider, SK Telecom has been at the forefront of South Korea’s mobile communication advancements and is actively involved in the development of 5G technology.

Regulatory environment and government initiatives

In South Korea, the regulatory environment governing the IT services sector is characterized by a mix of severe regulations aimed at protecting consumer data privacy and fostering innovation. Government initiatives play an important role in shaping this landscape, with a strong emphasis on promoting digital transformation and advancing technological infrastructure. For instance, initiatives such as the “Digital New Deal” and the “Korean Green New Deal” prioritize investment in digital infrastructure, including 5G networks and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.  

Additionally, regulatory bodies like the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) oversee compliance with laws related to telecommunications, broadcasting, and internet content. Such measures aim to ensure a secure and competitive IT services market conducive to both domestic and international investment.  

Digital Capabilities in Korea       

Cloud Computing

In 2023, the cloud computing market in Korea reached $3.4 Billion. The market is expected to expand to $10.6 Billion by 2032, showcasing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13% during the 2024- 2032 period. 

Korea is well-placed to leverage the advantages of cloud services, although it lags behind several other advanced economies in cloud adoption. This discrepancy is partly due to cultural and structural factors of Korea’s economy, such as local conglomerates. Regulatory factors further delay the externalization of IT functions and the adoption of cloud services. Moreover, enhancing workforce skills related to cloud technologies and addressing security apprehensions are critical areas that can empower South Korea to fully exploit the benefits offered by cloud services.  

The landscape of cloud services in South Korea exhibits notable diversity. A lot of Korean cloud service providers (CSPs) like Naver Cloud, KT Cloud, NHN, Douzone Bizon, and Kakao offer a wide array of innovative services catering to organizations of varying sizes. Concurrently, international CSPs including AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Alibaba Cloud, alongside smaller players like Cloudflare and Snowflake, actively serve commercial enterprises in South Korea. 

Artificial Intelligence

According to SPER Market Research’s report, the Korea Artificial Intelligence market is expected to reach $4 billion by 2033 with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 14.74%.  

Korea is emerging as a key player in the global artificial intelligence (AI) landscape, driven by various factors driving the sector’s growth. An important factor is the country’s strong focus on research and development (R&D), supported by a robust infrastructure including numerous universities, research institutions, and government initiatives dedicated to advancing AI technologies.  

Additionally, Korea’s thriving technology ecosystem significantly contributes to the growth of its AI industry. The country also witnesses the emergence of numerous AI-based start-ups annually, particularly in fields like robotics, natural language processing (NLP), and computer vision. Moreover, South Korea’s commitment to innovation and digitalization plays a vital role in advancing the growth of its AI sector. With ambitious plans for digital transformation, the country aims to invest heavily in digital infrastructure, including 5G networks and cloud computing. 


According to SPER market research, the South Korea Cyber Security Market is projected to achieve a value of USD 15.64 billion by 2033, demonstrating a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15.23%. 

The South Korean cyber security market is expected to witness significant expansion in the long term. This growth is supported by increasing market conditions and technological advancements, leading to a rapid surge in revenue within the cyber security sector. South Korea’s economy is generating new trends in cyber security, with the entry of new businesses and advancements in technology shaping a fresh set of market dynamics. 

Cloud solutions are increasingly adopted by many companies, facilitating limitless computer capacity and enabling efficient data storage and remote server access via the internet. The adoption of a cloud-based strategy empowers organizations to effectively manage applications and offers robust analytics capabilities operating in the background.

Talent Shortage in Korean IT Industry

According to a report published by the Ministry of Employment and Labor and the Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training, South Korea will encounter a shortage of over 50,000 workers within the next five years across 4 emerging technology sectors: artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, big data, and nanotechnology.  

This scarcity is expected to pose a significant challenge, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups, where talent retention may be challenging. To mitigate this issue, the report suggests enhancing advanced workforce training programs and actively tapping into the potential of foreign students.  

As the use of AI expands across various sectors such as healthcare, finance, manufacturing, and services, the report also flags the global emphasis on AI technology, which may lead to an exodus of skilled workers from South Korea. 

In cloud computing, the report predicts a shortfall of 18,800 professionals within the same timeframe. The growing demand for cloud services, spanning servers and software solutions, is fueling market expansion, exacerbating the talent scarcity. Particularly, shortages in operational and system development roles are emphasized, with an estimated gap of 8,300 junior to intermediate-level professionals and 10,500 advanced professionals.  

Similarly, the big data sector is poised to experience a deficit of 19,600 skilled professionals. With data playing a pivotal role in digital innovation across industries, the demand for advanced data experts is set to surge. Despite a demand for 99,000 big data professionals, the projected supply falls short, with 73,300 juniors to intermediate-level professionals and 6,100 advanced professionals. 

The Korea Carbon and Nano Industry Association proposes that the government should consider recruiting engineering students from nations such as Vietnam and Thailand to work in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and venture firms throughout South Korea, aiming to relieve the shortage of skilled workforce. 

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