Faced with a lack of Korean-language data and “tapping into a South Korean inclination to help one another on the web” Naver.com has become South Korea’s number one search engine. The New York Times reports:

When NHN, an online gaming company, set up the search portal in 1999, the site looked like a grocery store where most of the shelves were empty. Like Google, Naver found there simply was not enough Korean text in cyberspace to make a Korean search engine a viable business.

“So we began creating Korean-language text,” said Lee Kyung Ryul, an NHN spokesman. “At Google, users basically look for data that already exists on the Internet. In South Korea, if you want to be a search engine, you have to create your own database.”

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