Motorola Mobility to exit South Korean market

Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Motorola Mobility unit said it will shut down its mobile development and operations in South Korea and will cut most of its staff in the country next year. The action is Google's latest effort to slim down Motorola after acquiring the company earlier this year.

Around 10 percent of Motorola's South Korean staff will remain there in order to continue the company's iDEN and set-top box businesses. However, the company will slash 500 jobs as it stops marketing and selling mobile devices in the country. Motorola is not the first OEM to exit the home market of Samsung and LG; HTC announced plans this summer to leave South Korea

"On Dec. 10, we began communicating to staff in Korea our plans to close most of our operations in Korea, including our research and development and consumer mobile device marketing organization," Motorola said in a statement, according to ZDNet. "The changes in Korea reflect our plans to consolidate our global research and development efforts to foster collaboration, and to focus more attention on markets where we are best positioned to compete effectively."

Google said in August it would slash around 4,000 jobs at Motorola, or 20 percent of the unit's workforce, and said that two-thirds of those cuts would come from outside the United States. And in October Google warned it expects additional job cuts.

Google purchased Motorola in May for $12.5 billion, primarily for Motorola's 17,000 patents. But that has done little so far to stem patent litigation among Android handset makers and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Google has said Motorola will make fewer devices than it used to as its focuses on more innovative designs (though a slimmer portfolio is also one way to cut costs).

For more:
- see this ZDNet article
- see this The Next Web article
- see this The Verge article

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