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Korean venture to buy U.S. hallyu site operator

Korea’s video search technology provider, Enswers Inc., said Monday that it has agreed to acquire a Silicon Valley-based online company, Soompi Media LLC, to create a U.S.-based Web portal for Korean pop culture and news.

Under the agreement, Enswers will introduce this month a revamped service of powered by its own video search technology in a bid to bring Korean dramas, music, movies and news to audiences outside the country, it said in a statement. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 2006, Soompi is among the largest online Korean pop culture communities in English that gained ground on the back of “hallyu,” or the Korean Wave, drawing about 5 million monthly visitors from some 150 countries around the world.

The Korean Wave was fueled by the huge popularity of Korean soap operas, pop music and movies in Asian countries, but local online companies’ efforts to deliver content to global audiences were hamstrung by Korea’s Internet regulations that required visitors to identify their real name and residential numbers.

Enswers is a Seoul-based, four-year-old venture company, which provides video search technology and other video-related software to Web portal operators and TV broadcasters in Korea, including NHN Corp. and Daum Communications Corp. 

(Yonhap News)