Walk into the headquarters of South Korea’s biggest search engine, Naver, and you could be in Silicon Valley. Like Google and Facebook, the company has an affection for bean bags and primary colors. There are oversized toys in the shape of emoji from Naver’s messaging app, Line. A green wall is lined with ferns, and there’s an immaculately designed library. Also like Google and Facebook, Naver has a tense relationship with journalists. Though the company produces no journalism itself, Naver’s desktop and mobile news portal is South Korea’s most popular news site. (The second is another local portal, Daum.) Naver hosts stories by various outlets, somewhat similar to news-aggregation apps like Apple News. In a country where around 83 percent of the population accesses news online, the company has outsize control over what Koreans read and see. Naver’s scale has allowed it to dominate advertising revenue in South Korea. Its success nationally is analogous to Google and Facebook’s seemingly insurmountable digital-advertising “duopoly” globally. Thanks to their immense reach and ability to target consumers online, these two tech giants have proved irresistible to advertisers, and Naver shares a measure of their advantage. Yu Seo Young, a deputy manager with the company’s news team, mentioned local newspapers sometimes call Naver an alligator or some other apex predator when describing its market power. This hold that internet companies now have over digital advertising has left news outlets around the world in search of a sustainable business model. Some are doubling down on subscriptions; others rely on philanthropy. But Naver has an unusual model for working with Korean news publishers: The company directly pays 124 outlets as “Naver News in-link partners.” The outlets’ stories are published on Naver’s portal, making the site a one-stop source of articles and video and eliminating the need for readers to leave and visit the original news site. All the better for Naver’s own shopping platform and its own ads. (Another 500 or so news outlets are unpaid “search partners.” The site links to the publishers’ articles, much like Google News.) The total payout comes to