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Naver takes over Xerox’s Europe lab to emerge as AI firm

Naver takes over Xerox’s Europe lab to emerge as AI firm

Posted June. 28, 2017 07:20,   

Updated June. 28, 2017 07:28


Korea’s top portal Naver has taken over the Xerox Research Centre Europe, the European laboratory for the global document solution firm Xerox, the company announced on Tuesday. Analysts say that Naver has strengthened its research capacity for future technology including artificial intelligence, while opening a beachhead for its advance into the European market.

Naver said after completing the acquisition of XRCE in the third quarter, it will rename the center as Naver Labs Europe. XRCE was put on sale while Xerox was moving to split into service and hardware operations. In compliance with the agreement between the two companies, the purchase price of XRCE has not been made public.

Established in 1993, XRCE is a high-tech research center in Grenoble, France. The center is researching future technology including AI, machine learning, and natural language processing. Naver plans to elevate its research capability by utilizing core technologies from XRCE.

Notably, Xerox, which is widely known as a photocopier producer, has been diversifying its business into software and solutions beyond hardware since the 1980s, and has focused on the development of technology for automatic sorting and processing of computer document files and image data.

Notably, XRCE is armed with world-class technology in the area wherein future technologies such as AI are integrated into living and office devices. Naver, whose interest is in research on the so-called "living environment intelligence" aimed at improving convenience in living environment, shared the direction for technology development with XRCE.

Securing global human resources is one of core initiatives of Lee Hae-jin, former Naver board chairman. He has been stepping up efforts for Naver’s inroads into the global market while only staying in Europe since resigning as board chairman. “Since it is difficult for top-notch human resources to work in Korea, we should establish a research center overseas and hire talent there,” Lee said in a press meeting marking the initial public offering of its mobile messenger service "Line" in July last year, saying that recruitment of human resources is key to successful advance into the global market.

Hyun-Seok Lim lhs@donga.com