South Korea’s Naver says website access disrupted in China

By Hyunsu Yim

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean internet giant Naver said on Wednesday that access to its website was facing disruptions in China.

The company, which operates South Korea’s largest web portal and search engine, said it was unsure whether the disruptions were caused by a glitch or were the result of action by authorities in China.

“Access in China appears to have been disrupted but we do not know whether it is due to an error or (the website) has been banned by the Chinese authorities,” a Naver representative said.

Naver shares dropped 4.25% while the wider KOSPI index remained unchanged when the market closed on Wednesday.

South Korea’s foreign minister Park Jin said the ministry was looking into the issue, during a meeting with lawmakers earlier on the same day.

“We will communicate closely with China to solve the issue and ensure that South Koreans abroad and businesses do not face difficulties,” the minister said.

Asked about Naver’s access glitch during a press conference in Beijing on Tuesday, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said she had not seen the report and that she did not have “any information to offer”.

(Reporting by Hyunsu Yim; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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