Google Makes Chromecast Available In Korea, Its First Asian Market

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Google’s Chromecast has launched in Asia for the first time–but it’s currently only available in Korea. In a post on its Asia Pacific blog, the company explained that Korea was chosen because of the country’s high mobile penetration rate.

“Over 80% of YouTube views in Korea come from mobile devices, compared to the 40% average for the world,” Google said in the post. A company spokesman told TechCrunch that YouTube’s mobile-to-desktop ratio crossed 50% in Korea in 2011, the first market to do so.

Chromecast’s last major international expansion was in March, when it rolled out in 11 new markets in Europe and North America: Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the U.K.

The USB dongle plugs into HDTVs so users can stream Google’s browser from their smartphone, tablet, or laptop over their Wi-Fi networks to watch YouTube clips and other content. In Korea, the device costs 49,900 won, or about $49, compared to the $35 it fetches in the U.S. Chromecast was also priced at a premium when it launched in the U.K.