Google Inc., the world's biggest Web search engine, said on Friday it is looking to hire more engineers in Japan to develop new technologies in one of the most advanced markets for mobile technologies.
We hope to be much bigger in Japan, Omid Kordestani, Google's senior vice president in charge of global sales, told a conference in Tokyo. We want more innovation in this market.
Mountain View, California-based Google is trying to expand its presence abroad, from where more than 50 percent of Google.com traffic comes. Kordestani said he is aiming to raise international sales to more than half of Google's total revenue, from 42 percent in the recent quarter.
Google's 7,000 staff around the world is mostly made up of engineers. The company began offering searches in Japan from 2000 and set up its Tokyo office in 2001. It also has its own R&D team in Japan.
Earlier this year, Google tied up with KDDI Corp., the country's No.2 phone operator, to offer its first search engine and advertisement products for mobile phones.
Offering more mobile services is important in Japan, where more people access the Web via mobile phones than from PCs. About 60 percent of Japan's mobile customers use third-generation (3G) networks that allow faster music and video downloads.
The mobile search and ad in Japan has been very successful, Kordestani said. It was developed by our engineers in Japan, New York and other locations.
Google's engineers in different locations work together to develop new technologies. The Internet company has 13 offices in Asia Pacific, 22 in Europe and the Middle East, and 17 in the Americas.
Kordestani also said that Google is seeking to develop new technologies for social network services (SNS.) SNS such as Friendster and Japan's mixi feature blogs and other services that let users communicate and share information online.
Activities on SNS are bigger than any other activities on the Internet, the executive said. We're looking to work more in this area.
Services such as blogs and SNS are growing rapidly in Japan among young people. Mixi, one of the first SNS in the country, has signed up 5 million users since its launch in 2002.
In addition, Google's Japan president Norio Murakami said on Thursday the company is seeking partners to contribute contents for a video service in Japan.
Google currently offers a free video service in the United States and plans to spread it to other markets.