Ten years ago this week Google extended its reach into some of the world's largest Internet markets by offering local-language search results in China, Japan and South Korea. After a decade of hard work, it is in the unfamiliar position of having to fight hard to become the dominant search engine.
Google's efforts to expand in East Asia have been hampered by local competitors, different search habits and, in the case of China, even government efforts to block its services. The uneven results, as measured in market share, have lagged behind the kind of successes Google has seen when entering other parts of the world.
"I think in most of these markets, we could be doing better," said Won-Jin Lee, director of sales for Google Korea. "I think we came to these markets a little too late and I think that's definitely not worked in our favor."