South Korea’s Tech Giants Forge Stronger Bonds with Oil-Rich Middle East

Naver, Nexon, and AhnLab Collaborate with Saudi and UAE Firms to Explore New Markets and Investment Opportunities

In a bid to expand their presence in the Middle East, South Korea’s leading cybersecurity company, AhnLab, has joined forces with Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Information Technology Company (SITE) to establish a joint venture. Under this partnership, AhnLab will hold a 25% stake, while SITE will own the remaining 75%. Moreover, SITE Ventures, a subsidiary of SITE, is set to acquire a 10% stake in AhnLab for $55 million, solidifying their commitment to the venture.

This collaboration is part of a broader trend of partnerships between Middle Eastern oil-rich nations like Saudi Arabia and the UAE and South Korean tech companies. Naver, for instance, has inked several agreements with Aramco Digital to foster digital innovation in the region, particularly in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). Meanwhile, Nexon has established a subsidiary in the UAE, Nexface, to promote its blockchain gaming ventures, aligning with the growing interest in NFT technology.

These developments underscore the mutual benefits of collaboration, as Middle Eastern countries seek to diversify their economies beyond oil and Korean tech firms explore new avenues for growth and investment.