Saudis tap Naver for realm-wide digital push

South Korea-based Naver group, including Naver Labs and Naver Cloud signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing (MOMRAH) of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Investment Saudi Arabia (MISA) to cooperate on the Saudi government’s national digital transformation initiative.

Naver established in 2013 “Gak Chuncheon,” the very first data centre built by a Korean internet company, as part of its commitment to protecting user data. 

Gak Chuncheon has under its belt 10 years of stable operational experience without any disruption, accidents, or disasters. Such experience and expertise became the foundation for NAVER’s ongoing investment in R&D for advanced technologies including robotics, autonomous driving, and digital twin even after its R&D subsidiary Naver Labs was founded in 2017.

In addition to Saudi Arabia’s NEOM project aimed at building the world’s largest smart city, the country is making diverse efforts toward digital transformation. 

Naver was chosen as the global partner of MOMRAH and MISA, out of all the competitive global tech companies for its technologies including AI, robotics, cloud, autonomous driving, and digital twin.

Through the MOU, Naver, MOMRAH and MISA will be working together comprehensively across all domains for Saudi Arabia’s ICT project for their nationwide digital transformation. 

Potential projects will use Naver’s robotics and AI-enabled digital twin solution for Saudi Arabia’s city-scale simulations and city monitoring, or developing MOMRAH’s “super-app (tentative)” for the country with the use of hyperscale AI and cloud. 

Chae Seon-ju, president of Naver’s ESG and external policy unit, said the group is gaining recognition in the global market after years of sustained investment in cutting-edge technologies

“We will leverage our expertise and collaborate closely to support the Saudi government’s national digital transformation initiative,” said Chae.

“Taking this case as a significant opportunity, where collaboration began in earnest following our participation in the ‘One Team Korea’, we will further strengthen our efforts to pioneer the global market and stay committed to establishing Naver as a leading global tech company,” she added.

In November 2022, Naver became part of the “One Team Korea” consortium, which aimed to secure Saudi Arabian projects under the auspices of Minister Won Hee-ryong of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.