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Kakao tops Hyundai in market cap as pandemic shakes up Korea Inc.

Demand for digital services gives boost to internet companies

Internet companies have thrived amid the coronavirus outbreak, while more traditional companies have struggled. (Source photo by Getty Images)

SEOUL -- The coronavirus pandemic has shaken up South Korea's ranking of biggest companies by market cap as technology companies rally thanks to increasing demand for contact-free life, while traditional manufacturers are struggling to cope with the sudden change.

Internet company Kakao, well-known for its chat app KakaoTalk, ranked ninth Monday among Kospi constituents by market capitalization, with 23.1 trillion won ($18.6 billion), while Hyundai Motor, the country's largest automaker, dropped to 11th, with 20.4 trillion won in market cap. Kakao was the 22nd at the end of last year, while Hyundai Motor was the sixth at the time. Kakao's share were up over 8% during afternoon trading on Monday. 

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