Schmidt meets President Lee, chiefs of SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus to discuss possible cooperation
Google chairman Eric Schmidt pledged to support the globalization process of local software and content beginning next year in a meeting with President Lee Myung-bak on Monday.
As part of a project called “Korea Go Global,” Google will offer a local software developer support program for it to gain global competitiveness, according to Google officials.
As an exemplary case, the U.S.-based software giant will pick some projects out of a pool that could contribute to the development of software in Korea and support them with development funds as well as mentoring services.
Google will also use its popular video sharing and uploading platform YouTube to spread Korea’s premium “hallyu” contents. Cheong Wa Dae said earlier that creating a K-pop-only channel on YouTube was among the discussion topics.
“We’re very committed to Korea,” he told reporters, adding that being committed meant providing investments, partnerships and benefits.
“The government is interested in working with us and making sure our partnership is really strong.”
Involving its widely-talked acquisition of Daum Communications, the country’s No. 2 portal, Schmidt said, “We can’t talk about any acquisitions.”
Following his meeting with the president, Schmidt met with Choi See-joong, chairman of the Korea Communications Commission, stressing the firm’s Android mobile platform’s superiority over Microsoft’s Windows platform.
Korea Communications Commission chairman Choi See-joong (left) greets Google chairman Eric Schmidt before talks in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap News)
“Android is used all in Korea,” said Schmidt. “We think it’s a much better choice than Microsoft.”
In a closed meeting, Schmidt also stressed that the Android’s open platform will remain free-of-charge despite concerns that Google may turn it into a paying system with the recent takeover of Motorola Mobility, said KCC spokesman Lee Tae-hee.
The Google chairman arrived in Seoul in the day for a two-day visit to discuss cooperation between his company and Korean electronics and telecommunication companies.
Earlier, he met with chiefs of the three telecom firms ― SK Telecom, KT Corp. and LG Uplus ― one after another, pursuing cooperation in smart wallet and near-field communication technologies.
Schmidt thanked SKT for the fast spread of smartphones running on its Android mobile operating system in the country and the two parties agreed to also work together in mobile commerce and social networking services.
“There were multiple exchanges in opinions regarding the direction to develop in information communication technology between our president Ha Sung-min and Google’s chairman Schmidt and the two firms will devise cooperation measures involving the Android platform in the future,” said an SKT official.
KT chairman Lee Suk-chae and LG Uplus’ Lee Sang-chul also discussed the NFC and mobile wallet services with Google, with KT and Google suggesting joint work ― using Google’s advertising solution and KT’s smartphones and Internet protocol televisions ― in the mobile advertisement sector.
Google’s chairman is also scheduled to meet Samsung Electronics’ vice chairman Choi Gee-sung and LG Electronics’ representative. Schmidt will also hold a separate press conference on Tuesday.
This is the second time that Schmidt, the owner of the world’s most popular search engine and mobile platform, has visited Korea. His first visit was arranged in 2007, however, the status of Google has changed remarkably since then.
By Cho Ji-hyun (email@example.com