Friday April 20, 2007 14:13

Can Google succeed in Korea?

Posted by Channy Yun

Google has continually magnified its influence in Korea after release of establishing Google Engineering Center. It started the first public relationship to serve Google gifts and get inquiry of interview from thousand developers in annual Korea Java developers conference in Feb. 24. Many developers stood one row in Google’s booth to get interview requests. It was very popular rather than any other booths such as Sun Microsystems and IBM Korea.

Google also announced Mr. Lee, Wonjin will be local head for Korean business. He is a former CEO of Adobe Korea and was also the local CEO of Macromedia Korea before aqusition with Adobe. It may be chosen why he knew internet software industry very well and has experiences to manage local business.

As well Google assigned Mr. Wonkyu Cho, a former CTO of Opinity Inc with social reputation service and Dialpad.com, early VoIP service in US from Serome Inc. But, two of them are not native person in web industry of Korea. Some people worried about passive tactics although Google has a few market share in here.

To succeed in the competitive Korean market, Google has hit on all cylinders over the past few years such as setting up engineering center, recruiting and interviewing top engineers to substantially increase its work force from the present level of between 50 and 60. In March, the company also held Google night to explain the status of recruiting by inviting many bloggers and engineers.

Also Mr. Dennis Hwang, Google’s webmaster visited Korea again in April. He is well known as a logo designer in front page of Google. He concentrated attentions of bloggers and press although he was second visits, but because he is the most successful person as a Korean in Google. He announced Google will employ local web master to improve local supports. It includes many counties as well Korea.

He also said that Mr. Eric Schmidt will visit Korea for keynote speaking in Seoul Digital Forum in May and emphasized Google thought the Korea is very important market because of many highly connected broadband users compared with its population.

According to a survey conducted last month by local Web log analysis data provider Acecounter, Google Korea has a 1.68 percent share of the domestic internet search market. It means there are a lot things that Google has to do still. Suffering from low recognition, lacking in detailed search results, and losing out to local competitors are negative comments that the famed internet portal Google is not used to hearing, but faces in the Korean market.

Because of these reason, Google have strengthened publicity activities on let know its brand to many people such as press event leaning general showmanship or traditional approach such as planning TV advertisement. Whereas IT bloggers want to see technical innovations to fit korean tastes and interests by local employees. In recent article what google’s enemy is by Smartplace, the famous IT team blog many people replied it is their intension not to adopt local service rather than korean’s specific monoculture.

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