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Thursday, 18 September 2014

Gangnam Finance Center, Seoul Gangnam-gu: Home of Google Korea

Gangnam Finance Center is a prestigious landmark and the largest office building in Korea, located at 152 Tehran Avenue/Teheranno, Yeoksam-dong 737-beonji, Seoul Gangnam-gu. It has got 39 offices and a number of meeting rooms that can be suitable for meeting and conferences. It offers numerous sized offices, meeting room facilities, training and project rooms as well as Virtual office and secretarial services. This building serves as the home of Google Korea.

Korea’s the most plugged-in country in the world and Google is leading the way in the ongoing mobile revolution. For example, Korea has the most Google Play Store downloads per capita in the world. Korea’s enthusiasm for technology gives us a different set of opportunities and challenges than other Google offices.

Google Korea has a relentless focus on serving Korean users, customers and partners. The engineers have worked on customizing Search for local users and developed products that cater to the global markets, such as Google TV and Google Maps technologies. The company partnered with chaebols like Samsung and LG to develop Android phones and other products. The sales teams work closely with Korean advertisers to help them grow with Google.

Google Korea developed products like Mobile Search with local users in mind, but also made global impacts through products like Google TV. The sales teams help advertisers utilize rising ad platforms like Mobile and Display Ads, and grow with Google by reaching both Korean and international clients. The company named the No.1 foreign employer in Korea (for the fourth time in a row) by the National College Newspapers Association in 2011.

Inside Google Korea office, there are three conference rooms that refer to notable places in Korea such as Hallasan (Mount Halla at Jeju Island), Dokdo (disputed Liancourt Rocks in Ulleung County, Northern Gyeongsang Province) and Hangang (Han River). The workplace inside the office is vividly fun and colorful with everything from foosball and pool tables to bean bag chairs and singing rooms a.k.a Noraebangs. In addition, Korean delicacies such as Bulgogi and Bibimbap are served inside the cafeteria.

Q&As regarding to Google Korea
Q:Where’s Google Seoul located?
A: In Seoul Gangnam-gu, amidst some of the tallest office buildings in the city. Our building, the Gangnam Finance Center, is itself the ninth tallest in Seoul. We’re on the 21st and 22nd floors – the views are amazing. We’re two subway stops away from COEX Mall, the city’s largest underground shopping center, and Bongeunsa, a Zen Buddhist temple built in the 8th century, and a short walk from Kukkiwon (a.k.a. World Taekwondo Headquarters).

Q: How is Google Seoul different from other Google locations?
A: Because we’re smaller than many Google locations, we’re especially nimble. We work quickly, collaborate a lot and are able to make an immediate impact. What we do makes a meaningful impact on Google’s presence in Korea.

Q: What are you doing to grow Google’s business in Korea?
A: Koreans are tremendously tech savvy. The country has outstanding technology infrastructure. Broadband and mobile networks are lightning fast, for instance, and Seoul is rolling out free WiFi in public spaces throughout the city. We see that as providing tremendous opportunities for products like Android, YouTube and Google TV. We’re at the forefront of some of the most exciting innovations in the mobile space – for example, our engineers have made huge strides in Mobile Search. And Korea is one of the countries in which world-leading Android OEM partners, like Samsung and LG, have introduced next generation Android devices.

Q: Have any cool launches come out of Google Seoul?
A: We’ve shipped key features of Search and Transit Navigation for Google Maps which helps you get from here to there using public or mass transit. And recently one of our engineers developed a very cool Korean input method editor (IME) for Android. He patented it, and it’s gotten rave reviews from Korean users.

Q: Do you do anything to help Nooglers and Googlers from other countries adjust to working at Google Seoul?
A:We offer Nooglers small-group tutoring in English and for our international Googlers, Korean lessons.

Q: How do Seoul Googlers have fun?
A: We’ve hosted everyone from YouTube sensation David Choi and K-pop girl group 2NE1 to former government ministers and Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the Internet. We go on cool team off-sites – everywhere from ski resorts to the opera to the stunning island of Jeju. We have an awesome year-end party. And we get together informally for activities like karaoke.

Q: Does Google Korea do anything to build relationships with Korean developers?
A: We host several Google nights each year, to which we invite developers and students to demo our products and take part in technical talks. And Googlers from across our office come together to promote and work on hackathons a couple of times a year, which are a huge success. We also participate in external developer events and host Android Developer Lab (ADL) with more than 300 Korean developers every year.