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The South Korean government is getting into the webtoon business.
Over the past two decades, Korea has an extraodinary amount of growth in their webtoon industry, as the digital scrolling comics succeed as products on their own and then go on to succeed again in movie and TV adaptations. Now, the government is getting involved.
As reported by Variety, last Tuesday, South Korea's minister for culture, sports and tourism Yu In-chon announced at a press conference that the South Korean government plans to open a school dedicated to webtoons by the year of 2027. Not only that, the government will also work to foster the development of webtoon platforms and also host a webtoon festival this autumn that will award big players in the international industry.
Yu In-chon said he's aiming to grow the size of the webtoon industry and how much of the industry is exported overseas, with a goal of growing the industry to 2.9 billion dollars and exports to 250 million by 2027, when the school will launch. In 2022, the industry was estimated to be worth $1.89 billion with exports at $107 million. In other words, Yu wants the industry to grow by $1 billion dollars over the span of only five years.
It's an ambitious goal, but one that should not be discounted. South Korea has had a lot of success recently in pop culture exports, and who knows? Maybe webtoons will be their next big success.