You know how David Hasselhoff is a rock star overseas, but a bit of a joke as an entertainment celebrity closer to home? Isn't that the spitting image of Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) these days?

I'm not suggesting that Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang don red swim trunks and surround himself with buxom lifeguards a la the Hoff, but Yahoo! really does play a better game as the away team, particularly on the glistening beachheads of Asia.

Yahoo!'s latest win is signing nine deals with Asian carriers to provide its oneSearch mobile Web service, either exclusively or as a preferred partner. Coupled with earlier deals, Yahoo! now has access to 40% of the mobile Web services market throughout Asia.

Yahoo!'s oneSearch is a mobile search application that allows cell-phone users to have one-screen access to things like sports scores, stock quotes, and flight information.

What's that? You didn't know that Yahoo! is a mobile search celebrity overseas? Domestically, the latest headlines are all about how Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Mobile and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android initiative (aka Gphone) will open up mobile computing.

Yahoo! is clearly a player stateside, but we're talking hero worship overseas. It's not just in Asia, either. Last month, Yahoo! struck a deal with Spain's Telefonica (NYSE:TEF), providing search, email, and Flickr photo-sharing as a local alternative in Telefonica's markets in Latin America, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

However, Yahoo! in Asia is experiencing the equivalent of Germany's inexplicable love for Hasselhoff's derivative tunes. At least Yahoo!'s success is easy to sing along to. The company's reputation has been built on timely acquisitions in China's Alibaba and South Korea's Gmarket (NASDAQ:GMKT), as well as its early-mover win in Japan after partnering with Softbank.

Funny, isn't it? Yahoo! is the Harlem Globetrotters as a globetrotter, but the Washington Generals when tipping off against Google in the United States.

It's not a bad place to be, Yahoo! Keep at it. Let the market appreciate you as an import. It worked for Hasselhoff.