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Google chief to meet KT head in Seoul

Google chairman Eric Schmidt will visit Korea early next month for a series of talks with KT chairman Lee Suk-chae and other leaders of tech companies, industry sources said Friday.

This will be the second time for the Google chief executive to visit Korea.

Amid diverse smartphone-related issues expected to be discussed during the talks, industry sources predicted that mobile payment services would be the main topic.

KT, which in February acquired the nation’s top credit card firm BC Card, this week announced a plan to expand business into mobile payment services.

Google had also launched the mobile app Google Wallet in May, which uses a smartphone’s built-in NFC chip, in cooperation with international card companies such as Citi Bank and Master Card.

If KT joins hands with Google, the Korean telecom operator could take the initiative in the Korean government’s ongoing negotiations to standardize the NFC-based mobile payment system, sources said.

The new partnership also would accelerate the earlier entry of major handset makers such as Samsung Electronics as well as global card companies into the mobile payment market, they added.

Both KT and Google, however, declined to reveal the details of the planned meeting.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)
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