South Korean web giant Naver arrives in Brazil

The company launches operations in the country as part of a strategy to expand in Latin America

South Korean Internet giant Naver has started operations in Brazil as part of a strategy to grow its presence in Latin America.

The company is starting its business in the country with the launch of Whoscall, a caller ID app that has been downloaded 20 million times since its 2012 launch and has over 700 million numbers in its database.

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Marcos Gomes, formerly a project manager at Internet conglomerate Movile, will be leading Naver's operations in Brazil and has been quoted as saying that the Korean firm sees the Brazilian office as a platform for expansion into other countries in the region.

Historically, Naver's attempts to break into markets outside Asia haven't quite taken off, but the company has been investing in markets with fast growth in smartphone uptake such as India and Mexico, where it has been marketing Line, its free mobile messaging application and call service.

However, the initial focus in Brazil will be on Whoscall, since the company is looking to capitalize on the demand for privacy in mobile telephony in Brazil, where scam callers are prevalent.

In addition to Brazil, its first office outside Asia, Naver currently has 60 staff spread across Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Thailand.