Google buys Korean blogging firm

Google has bought Korean blogging firm Tatter and Company for an undisclosed sum.

The deal was announced by the co-chief executive of Tatter and Company, Chang-Won Kim, on his blog.

Kim said the acquisition was significant as it showed that Google was taking the Korean market seriously: "To my knowledge, we are one of the first major acquisitions by Google in Asia, let alone Korea if we don't count Australia and also exclude share-taking activities in China for licensing purposes.

"Of course I could be totally wrong, as Google doesn't announce all its acquisitions."

Google only has a small market position in Korea which along with China and Vietnam is one of the fastest growing markets in Asia.

Kim added that many Korean web users prefer to use Yahoo!-like portal services and seldom venture out. He said the portals had become comfort zones and that Google's acquisition of Tatter would help challenge that situation.

Kim said: "Now as a part of Google, TNC will try to better the situation. We will commit ourselves to increasing Google's market share in Korea. Of course, Google isn't entitled with God-given right to become number in every region it operates in, just because it's Google. It's actually more about the Korean web industry than about Google.

"I think the Korean web industry needs a player that can, as a balancing force, provide more options to the users and help create a more open web. Well, who can be that player? How about giving a chance to a company that sincerely strives to be 'not evil' despite its sheer bigness?"

Google already owns the success blog platform Blogger, which was used by many first generation blogs, but as it has become more successful many have turned to platforms such as WordPress.

Tatter owns a blogging platform called Textcube and it hopes that Google's acquisition will start to grow this outside of Korea.

Kim said: "Textcube was so good that it was called better than the services in the US in many ways by some international media, but we were hopelessly behind in terms of globalizing our product.

"Hopefully Google's global presence will be of tremendous help in globalizing Textcube and other interesting web services coming from Korea."

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