Yahoo! Inc's South Korean operation said on Friday it will quit the country, underscoring its struggle against Google Inc and local competitors expanding aggressively into mobile advertising and online services.
South Korea is the first Asian country Yahoo! is leaving, the firm said. An industry pioneer and household internet brand, it has been overshadowed by global rivals including Facebook Inc and Google in recent years.
"Yahoo! has faced several challenges in the past couple of years and decided to pull out of the (Korean) business to put more resources on global business and become more powerful and successful," Yahoo! said in a statement.
Yahoo! Korea, which started business in 1997 and is wholly owned by the US search company, has around 200-250 employees in South Korea. It will terminate Korean online portal services in December, the company said.
In the South Korean market, it has failed to beat local rivals such as NHN Corp, Daum Communications Corp and SK Communications Co.
Yahoo! appointed Google veteran Marissa Mayer as its chief executive in July, its third CEO in less than a year.
Former CEO Scott Thompson resigned after less than 6 months in the job over a controversy over his academic credentials.
Before that, Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang had stepped down as CEO, and an internal reorganisation cut thousands of jobs.
Yahoo! remains one of the world's most powerful websites, with more than 700 million monthly visitors who use products like its email service and read its news pages.