Korean Internet firms are racing to grab a share of the Chinese market, most recently with Internet portal group NHN Corp. signing a cooperative agreement last Friday with China's largest game portal, SeaRainbow Holding Corp.

NHN announced that it would invest US$100 million to advance into China. The basis for the agreement is the launching of a joint venture called Ourgame Assets, in each will hold a 50%. The two partners will exchange technical advances and market experience, while at the same time jointly developing new game content.

NHN's move is seen as a direct reaction to a recent decision made by rival Plenus Inc., operator of the popular online game portal Netmarble. Plenus agreed to share its services with China's largest Internet portal, Sina, beginning in July, in a strategic bid to enter the Chinese market. Plenus stressed that it would not allow NHN to consume the whole overseas market. In addition, Plenus last Thursday forged ties with the local food and entertainment giant CJ Group with the conglomerate acquiring a controlling stake in the online game company. Plenus sees the team-up as an opportunity for expansion backed by CJ's huge capital.


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