It appears as if Google have bought TNC (site in Korean), short for Tatter and Company, which is a Korean company focusing on blogs. VentureBeat reports that TNC is providing professional blogging software and services to more to 400,000 users, and also says that the sum Google paid for the company is undisclosed. No official word from Google yet.
However, TNC founder Chang Kim blogs about it over at Web 2.0 Asia (in English, thankfully, for those of us that don’t speak or read Korean), which gives quite some legitimacy to the claim.
Chang Kim describes her company like this:
For those who are not familiar with us, think of TNC as Korea’s Automattic – a company that develops a cool blogging platform that’s favorited by the nation’s A-list bloggers, and also works closely with the open source community.
If that is indeed the case, then one can certainly understand why Google would acquire the company. For more information on the type of products TNC have and have produced in the past, check out Chang Kim’s post.
Google isn’t the dominating force in Korea, as Chang Kim points out. Instead, portals are built out so that people rarely have to leave them, something that was the case in the west previously. I remember Swedish surfers going to one or the other of the big portal sites, and rarely leaving them. We’ve come a long way from that, to googling after what we want to read. Granted, some people still google for an URL, but that’s beside the point.
The fact is, Asia overall and Korea in particular, isn’t Google Land yet. There will no doubt be several acquisitions to strengthen the position, and to try and push people from using portals, to start using Google search so that the company can make even more money on Adsense and Adwords. I’ll let Chang Kim underline the importance of the Korean market:
Speaking of Google in Asia, one piece of fact that my American friends have really hard time perceiving is that Google is an underdog in this part of the globe. Korea is the world’s sixth largest market in terms of internet users, and yet Google has a market share that can only be described as “minor” in Korea.
That is to change, surely.