Naver's success surprised many. When NHN, an online gaming company, set up the search portal in 1999, the site looked like a grocery store where most of the shelves were empty. Like Google, Naver found that with few people other than Koreans using the language, there simply was not enough Korean text in cyberspace to make a Korean search engine a viable business.
"So we began creating Korean-language text," said Lee Kyung Ryul, an NHN spokesman. "At Google, users basically look for data that already exists on the Internet. In South Korea, if you want to be a search engine, you have to create your own database.""