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Google chief vows support for Internet start-ups in Korea

By Korea Herald

Published : Nov. 7, 2011 - 16:30

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Schmidt meets with President Lee, IT firms’ chiefs on cooperation in ’smart era’


Google chairman Eric Schmidt pledged to support Internet startups in Korea and create a K-pop-only channel on YouTube in the world’s most popular search engine.

Schmidt, who currently serves as the board executive chairman of Google, disclosed the pledges during his meeting with President Lee Myung-bak at Cheong Wa Dae on Monday, presidential officials said.

The two leaders also shared the view that Google and Korea’s major tech companies can forge a partnership for the future because they are powerhouses in IT world, the officials said.

Lee also stressed that the Korean government is putting efforts towards establishing a creative Internet eco-system as well as new projects that could contribute in what we call the “smart society.”

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.

Later in the day, Schmidt also met Choi See-joong, chief of the Korea Communications Commission, the country’s telecom and media regulator.

During his visit, Google’s chairman is most likely 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
(sharon@heraldcorp.com)