Foreign Policy has a commentary by David Wise who authored a book on Google recently:
Around the world, Google faces tough obstacles. In developing nations, the Web is inaccessible for all but a wealthy few. In technologically advanced countries, Google faces the emergence of government-backed rivals. The competition in Asia is especially fierce. In Japan, Yahoo leads the pack with its millions of registered e-mail users. The leading search engine in China is Baidu.com, which enjoys strong government support. And, though Googles popularity in China is increasing, it cant seem to gain any traction in nearby South Korea. There, the government has invested heavily in making high-speed Internet service widely available, as well as facilitated the creation of a number of domestic Web search firms that are the market leaders. Google has become so frustrated by its inability to crack the Korean consciousness that it has done the unthinkablespent money to promote its brand name, something the online giant has rarely had to do anywhere else.