​Naver to buy Xerox's Europe AI research centre

South Korea's largest search giant will acquire Xerox's Europe research centre in France as part of a bid to expand its artificial intelligence (AI) portfolio.

Naver will acquire France-based Xerox Research Centre Europe (XRCE), the company announced, in a bid to strengthen its AI business and expand in Europe.

South Korea's largest search giant this year created a lab to focus on AI research. Earlier this month, it announced a partnership with US chip giant Qualcomm to expand its AI platform, named Clova, which is a joint project with subsidiary and chat giant Line.

It partnered with compatriot Mirae Asset Daewoo, Korea's largest brokerage company, to apply AI in financial services. It is also applying AI and machine learning technology to its search and apps.

The 80 employees at the research centre will join Naver, with the deal expected to close in the third quarter.

Xerox will maintain ownership of intellectual property and arrange a licensing deal with Naver.

Naver dominates search in South Korea and its subsidiary Line, based in Japan, has also been received well there.

The firm's founder Lee Hae-jin has expressed a desire to expand into Europe.

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