SEOUL, Aug. 31 (Yonhap) -- The number of startups in South Korea fell nearly 5 percent in the first half of the year due mainly to a plunge in new real estate businesses, government data showed Wednesday.
A total of 696,000 new companies were set up in the country in the January-June period, down 4.7 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Ministry of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups.
The number of newly established real estate companies sank 18.9 percent on-year, with that of hospitality businesses decreasing 11.9 percent.
Excluding the property sector, the number of newly opened businesses declined 0.7 percent in the first half from a year earlier.
The number of newly established retailers and wholesalers went up 4.3 percent on-year, with that of those in the farming, forestry, fisheries and mining sectors expanding 11.6 percent.
Newly established firms in the information and communication industry increased 9.1 percent on-year amid an accelerating contactless trend stemming from the prolonged coronavirus pandemic, according to the data.