Interbrand Thinking
Eunice Min, Chief Contents Officer, Interbrand seoul

5G Trends from Korea

Insider view

In Korea, the Next Gen question is being answered in real time: which brands will drive new relevance through 5G? Here are three unexpected brands that are making big moves as a result of lower latency.

Hyundai Motor Company

Autonomous driving has been most often mentioned as change that 5G will create along with smart-city, AR/VR, metaverse, and telemedicine. This is because 5G, which guarantees ultra-latency, must be premised in order for numerous cars to exchange data without delay and drive safely. Hyundai Motor Company, ranked second in Best Korea Brand 2021, is expanding their role as a leader. They already operates “Robotaxi,” an autonomous taxi, in three regions of Korea. However, this is only a round trip to and from a designated route. Finally, they announced that it will cooperate with the Seoul Metropolitan Government from March 2022 to operate a truly autonomous “Robotaxi” in Gangnam, Seoul. Like ordinary taxis, you can call a Robotaxi through the app and get on and off wherever you want. Gangnam is the most traffic destination in Seoul, where is notorious for its complicated traffic. This means that if fully autonomous taxis are possible in Gangnam, they are possible everywhere in the world.


Korea is undoubtedly the center of Asian entertainment business. And it is the country of BTS, a world-renowned artist who won the Artist of the Year at the American Music Awards 2021. Hive is an entertainment company to which BTS belongs and ranked 42nd in Best Korea Brand 2021. The sustainability of pop artists comes from the expansion of fandom. To this end, pop artists had continued their world tours. This is because direct meeting with fans is the most effective way to strengthen existing fandom and create new fans. After this became impossible because of Corona, many artists were frustrated. But Korea, a country of 5G, found a way to overcome it. It’s an online concert. BTS’ first online concert was held in April 2020, with more than 1 million fans from 107 countries. The regret of the realism that can only be felt at offline concerts has been replaced by the power of technology. They created a fantastic stage using AR and XR, and successfully implemented “Amry on Air,” which allows them to listen to fans’ voices in real time and communicate with them while looking at their faces. Since then, online concerts have become a new normal for domestic and foreign artists. At the first concert, this phrase by BTS member RM tells the essence of 5G. “I thank god that we have this technology so we could be connected with no latency, like really literally here, it feels like you’re here.”

CJ CheilJedang

CJ CheilJedang is one of the oldest food companies in Korea. It ranked 26th in Best Korea Brand 2021, the highest among Korean food companies. Old food companies may think that they are far from innovation, but they are innovating food business by combining 5G with all their value chains. An example is to produce the best milk by inserting a smart device that informs the health status of all cows they manage. They also grows the best grains and vegetables in a Smart Farm with big data and IOT technology. The best raw materials thus obtained are made into commercial products at Smart Factory. Smart Factory has the advantage of producing products safely and effectively by automating manufacturing processes based on technologies such as IOT, robots, AI, and cloud. Finally, they propose a personalized food solution that considers each consumer’s taste and health status. Of course, personalized food solutions are still limited, but they are trying to broaden them. Milk cow management, Smart Farm, Smart Factory, personalized solutions, all of which are based on 5G that enables big data, IOT, and AI.


Launched in 2014, Kakao has grown rapidly in its creation of KakaoTalk, which became a national messenger. Having a market share of nearly 90%, KakaoTalk, Kakao has easily expanded its service to various fields such as shopping, games, finance, and music. Since Kakao’s app was able to solve nearly everything, there was even a joke that “Korea is a Kakao Empire.” One of the representative services of Kakao Universe is “KakaoTalk Wallet,” which allows you to easily store and manage certificates for personal verification and authentication. This service shone in the post-corona era. When entering multi-use facilities, it was possible to simply authenticate with the QR code in the app without having to open a separate app or carry a paper certificate. It has greatly reduced manpower waste and economic losses. And behind the success of this service was the information and communication technology infrastructure based on 5G. Based on 5G, which enables ultra-high speed, ultra-low lag, and ultra-multiple connections, it was able to store authentication information of numerous people more safely and deliver information easily and quickly.

Of course, Korea also presents watchouts for brands. With the commercialization of 5G communication, media usage time has increased, with negative psychological, physical, and social impacts. In fact, a new term has evolved in the Korean language to summarize this phenomenon. “Turtle Neck” describes people looking down at phones and laptops, with bowed heads, resembling the half-shelled reptiles.

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