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South Korea's Naver.com to Launch in Japan

This is a transcript of top stories presented by China's CCTV Business Channel as produced by CNBC Asia Pacific.

Hi, I'm Saijal Patel and you're watching “Asia Market Daily”.

We'll soon get a better idea as to how well Beijing's recent tightening measures have worked to rein in inflation, with official CPI data due out tomorrow.

Analysts expect inflation may have risen to a two year high of 5.3 percent in January.

However, some traders say the figure could be closer to 4.9 percent, because the National Bureau of Statistics is likely to reduce the weighting of food in its calculation of CPI.

Not everyone though is feeling so optimistic.

(SOT) Dariusz Kowalczyk, Senior Economist and Strategist, Credit Agricole:

"We think the picture will be that China is not successful yet because they were too late to start the tightening cycle. So we're looking for a pretty sharp acceleration in inflation, new lending, as well as exports and imports and the message will be we need to hike rates more, we need to raise the RRR more and we need to let the renminbi appreciate faster to counter imported inflation."

Inflation is a growing concern in the region, with a top official from the International Monetary Fund warning soaring prices in Asia could spill over into broader price pressures.

Anoop Singh, director of the IMF's Asia Pacific department says the key to containing inflation is "more-flexible exchange rates" hinting that monetary policy alone won't be enough.

China has already started to allow the Yuan to appreciate more, setting the mid point at a record high just last week.

(SOT) Dariusz Kowalczyk, Senior Economist and Strategist, Credit Agricole:

"A lot of Asian nations are basically using the improved, or better than the US fiscal situation to bring inflation down without unduly raising interest rates. But you know China has to the rate tightening anyway to manage inflation expectations. To make sure that price pressures do not spread too much from food and residential costs to other areas of the economy."

From the fight against inflation, to the battle for domination in the internet search engine space.

South Korean web portal giant NHN recently posted a near 25 percent rise in fourth quarter net profit, from a year ago.

The result was largely driven by increased advertising at its NAVER dot com — the most popular search engine in South Korea.

SBS CNBC's Hyunmo Ahn has more.

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South Korea boasts the world's highest high-speed internet penetration rate at 95 percent and that's drawn many players. But when it comes to who's ahead, it's not been global giants like Google or Yahoo.

(SOT) Hyunmo Ahn, SBS CNBC, Seoul:

In many parts of the world, when you tell someone to search on the web, you simply say "google it". In Korea, when we want to look something up, we say "ask Naver". The home-grown portal owns a remarkable 70 percent of the local market, dominating the international juggernauts, like Google and Yahoo.

The secret to Naver's success has been its Unified Search capability, the first of its kind in the world. The advanced engine first identifies the user's search purpose, reorganizes the database, and then displays various types of result contents at a glance - including video and images, all organised into one page.

(SOT) Kim Chang Kwean, Daewoo Securities, Seoul:

"When it comes to how satisfactory the results are, those found by Naver's Unified Search are of much better quality than those by Google or Yahoo, and that's why Koreans love to use Naver."

But the room is getting crowded and it's getting harder for any website to post rapid growth. That's why Naver is expanding outside the nation. The first target is the Japanese cyber land, which is now dominated by Google and Yahoo. By establishing NHN Japan, Naver is aiming to clinch 10 percent market share at the get go.

(SOT) Kwak Dae Hyun, NHN, Seoul:
"Hangame Japan is already the top player in the country's online game scene. When it comes to our portal service, it's been only a little over a year since Naver Japan started operation, but it's showing an encouraging performance."

Naver's dominance is increasingly getting challenged by the recent boom of social networking the likes of Twitter, and Facebook. The keyword in the new SNS wave is 'openness'. So this could put some pressure on Naver which confines users within the site and has to run a massive Database.

Meanwhile the industry's second and third players Daum and Nate are also rapidly moving to catch up and join the global trend. So while NHN may be number one in Korea now, it'll have to keep working to stay ahead of the pack.

Hyunmo Ahn from SBS CNBC, Seoul.

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Thanks for watching “Asia Market Daily”.

I'm Saijal Patel from CNBC.

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