Naver Corp., South Korea’s online media and services leader, gained its most in three quarters after unveiling the country’s answer to ChatGPT.
(Bloomberg) — Naver Corp., South Korea’s online media and services leader, gained its most in three quarters after unveiling the country’s answer to ChatGPT.
Shares rose as much as 9.1%, their biggest intraday jump in nine months, after Chief Executive Officer Choi Soo-yeon introduced several generative AI services at a conference in Seoul Thursday. The news came hours after Nvidia Corp., the go-to provider of AI accelerators, offered another blowout sales forecast and dispelled any fears of waning momentum for the nascent tech.
Choi pointed to Naver’s leading positions in search, shopping and payments, and vowed that the company will prevail as it has done in the 24 years since its founding. “We are well prepared and confident that we will ride this new wave,” Choi said at the conference titled DAN 23.
Naver executives on Thursday demonstrated chatbot Clova X as well as its next-generation search experience, dubbed Cue. Cue is built on the company’s HyperCLOVA X generative AI model to provide summaries in response to complex queries, such as where to stay in a particular city with a 5-year-old child for a holiday. The feature would suggest places and locations with photos, opening hours and reviews, as well as related information such as car rental services. Users would be able to book and pay within the same platform.
The company seeks to reassert its dominance at home as it faces rising threats from Alphabet Inc.’s Google and other global internet titans. It should be able to maintain its domestic lead with the help of these new AI tools and also expand its services to markets like Japan, where English isn’t the primary language, NH Investment & Securities Co. analyst Ahn Jaemin wrote in a report ahead of the debut.
Naver has invested more than 1 trillion won ($979 million) across fundamental research and applications of AI in the past five years, according to Choi. It completed its first version of HyperCLOVA in 2021, one of the handful of large language models in the world known to exceed 100 billion parameters and the first that was trained in the Korean language.
Its services will go up against a plethora of AI platforms unfurled in recent months by global technology leaders from OpenAI to Google and China’s Baidu Inc.
–With assistance from Youkyung Lee.
(Updates with analyst comment)
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