Rakuten Switches Portal Search Backend To Google

Rakuten, Japan’s huge online mall, announced on 10th that they are to use Google search on their portal Infoseek Rakuten.

Infoseek Rakuten has been using Yahoo! Japan search backend, and requested Japan Fair Trade Commission to investigate if Yahoo! Japan-Google search alliance is antitrust.

Naver, Korean-originated search engine running Japanese search site, announced [J] on 11th that the new Infoseek’s image search is run on Naver’s engine.

Rakuten also agrees [J] with Google to use Google AdSense on several services, such like Infoseek, Rakuten Toolbar and Zenryaku Profile.

NHN Japan Buys Livedoor By $67 Million

Both NHN Japan and Livedoor confirmed NHN Japan’s purchase Livedoor from Livedoor Holdings.

NHN Japan and Livedoor’s press conference starts 6:05 p.m. Japan Standard Time, broadcast also on Ustream.

Video streaming by Ustream

NHN Japan president Akira Morikawa(on your left) and Livedoor president Takeshi Idezawa.

Morikawa explained that NHN Japan group runs Hangame and Naver Japan in Japan. NHN Japan was asked to bid to purchase Livedoor last summer, in 2009. The price for all stocks handed over from Livedoor Holdings is 6.3 billion yen (67 million US dollars).

NHN Japan’s “Five promises to users”

He also showed 5 policies around Livedoor on this merge.

  1. Livedoor’s “company name”, “brand”, “services” and “organization” kept as are
  2. Current management policy will continue
  3. Board members will stay (some more sent by NHN)
  4. No lay off
  5. Supports for more growth of Livedoor portal

So, no immediate merger and restructuring with Naver Japan team are planned. They expect that Naver’s robot search and Livedoor’s blog portal and contents services enhance Naver’s Knowledge Platform.

Ustream live was watched about 2,000 users despite of very short, few hours notice.

January 2010 Japan-IT Links (part 1)

Last week our RSS subscribers passed over 5,000, which is a good milestone. Twitter followers also increased to 400. Following @asiajin also will notify our latest articles. Thank you so much.

Here is the first half of January Japanese IT/Web interesting news links we did not take as a dedicated article. (part 2 is here)

Referred pages are all in Japanese, unless otherwise noted.

If you want to know any specific news more, but unable to find them in other English blog/media, please let us know.

As you see, we know a lot things to write but contributors time are limited. So we are looking for authors. We will help Japanese research/reading part so do not worry if your Japanese is not perfect.

We also want sponsorship to keep this group blog. Ideal if from Japanese companies because our initial motivation was to introduce them to non-Japanese web. Problem is we only write in English and they do not check English sites 🙂 If you know them please suggest us to them!