Korean publication JoongAng Daily reports that SK Telecom (SKT) has removed the adult-oriented “hot zone” from its app store, following reports that the Korean Communications Commission is set to look at the issue of “obscene content” being made available to teenagers. According to the paper, the operator’s T-Store had 600 items available in the hot zone, although this appears to include wallpaper and videos as well as apps. This material is also believed to account for around 7 percent of revenue generated by the store, with SKT stating that it was a “bold decision” to remove the category.
According to the report, T-Store has around 6.6 million customers, which is around 60 percent of the country’s smartphone user base. In order to use the hot zone, customers must certify that they are 19 years of age or older, although it was said that “teenagers often used their parents’ resident registration numbers to get around the system.” It was also said that the decision to remove adult content is “just part of a journey for T Store to advance into a premium application store,” in order to better compete with global competitors such as Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market.
SKT is looking to T-Store as one of its growth drivers, last month inking a deal with China Mobile to collaborate in areas including mobile apps. It is also working with Taiwanese device supplier East Power to launch an app store in Taiwan. The company has also signed a deal with Lenovo to offer content for smartphones from the Chinese vendor.