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Japan's Net Industry Set to Eclipse Korea's

     
2:50 am on Dec 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Japan's Net Industry Set to Eclipse Korea's [english.chosun.com]

Japan's Internet market is slowly taking steps toward becoming a global leader after long standing in the shadow of Korea, an Internet hot-house, and China, the world's biggest market. The island nation has been continuously investing in the industry, and as a result it is now drawing attention from companies around the world. Japan has 10 times as many subscribers to the super-fast Fiber To The Home (FTTH) Internet service as Korea, and the number of Japanese households using the Internet exceeds 26 million. All this seems to signal an age of "online Japan."

I wasn't sure what to make of this article. It sounds like a rallying cry for the Koreans to catch up with Japan. It's arguable that Japan has been in Korea's shadow in terms of net technology and infrastructure. It's rare for me to see this sort of article coming from a Korean news source. Does it reflect the common thinking there now?

2:38 pm on Dec 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The thing with the stats, the population of Japan is a lot larger than Korea. It is not hard to have more subscribers when you have a larger pool of people.

But overall I would say that the article is like a wake up call.

10:37 pm on Dec 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

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does it reflect common thinking out here?

simply: no.

Perhaps in the minds of the writer and what sounds like those on the NHN Japan team (now why would THEY think there is a Japan competitive threat? craziness! lol).

Sounds like that writer had nothing to write about and happened across some info about Japan from the random some analyst he met at party.

There is no wake up call. No alarms sounding or trumpets blaring. Catch up in....? fastest broadband speed?..so Koreans can (what?...get more braggin rights?) btw, I notice the writer doesn't even mention rates/percentages of high-speed usage for example(the first of many clues).

I honestly, I don't even know how to reply/process seriously to that type of random rabble rousing. +_+

it ain't japan..its the world (opening up standards/proprietary grip) that is the issue, if any.

[edited by: GrendelKhan_TSU at 11:26 pm (utc) on Dec. 21, 2007]

10:44 pm on Dec 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

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fastest broadband speed?..so Koreans can (what?...get more braggin rights?)

They want to download WoW maps faster than the Japanese.

12:23 am on Dec 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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this article has a lot more merit and puts the japan comments in better context:
[english.chosun.com...]

BUckLE UP... I'm about to go off. You've been warned
Far more than any one country (eg: japan) or how fast the internet speed is (not important on the margin)... imo, innovation will be the biggest treat to Korean internet market. Because yes, it seems to be somewhat stagnating over the last years in the mighty "Korean internet". And once again, we are seeing more and more import and less and less export of (internet) business models and tech.

BACKGROUND:
Its early yet, but slipping back the curtain of the "worldwide web wizard of Oz" (say that 10 ten times fast!^^) has been showing good and bad signs for the industry, so to speak: good because... open is open (user: new toys from beyond the wall! woot!); bad because... ignorance WAS bliss (businesses: new toys from beyond the wall?! yikes!)

"The Korean internet" has prospered (prospers) on its side of teh curtain by (portals for example) creating heavily proprietary systems and products based on whatever came outta the distinctly korean brain unfettered with "All your base belong to Google " everywhere and yadda yadda. As such, these happened to be very creative and different from what was happening everywhere else (eg: cyworld, knowledge search, combined serps, etc). And as there is (still) a heavy line drawn between the Korean internet and "the rest of the world"... this has meant (and still does) a nice captive audience to play with and build cool stuff for.

NEED MORE FINGERS IN THE DAM!
However, if anything the "wake up call" should be about open standards vs proprietary ones (perhaps mirroring the Big G vs MS, respectively).

Now that more and more Koreans are finding their way outside of the wall (or more news/products making their way in)... they are also finding out that all the fun toys on the "outside" are not nearly as restrictive as the ones "inside." (ugly and "non-korean" looking as they may be).

Basically we have a situation where:
- Koreans netizens are savvy, wired and have a gamers attention span.
- Korean internet businesses are quick, but stubborn/prideful.

But inbreeding makes for bad international marketing. (how's that for a catch phrase? lol). In a country where proprietary tools/layouts and neat-tight packing are king... successful Korean internet businesses (note, businesses not their business models) have done poor going international cause they think the Korean package works everywhere..with little change and without opening up any of its proprietary standards (never heard of an open api from like...ANY major korean site/tech). Similarly (or ironically?), most foreign businesses have failed in Korea for basically the same reason (but vice versa). So, Cyworld social network web 2.0 system!: good! (note: cyworld predates myspace). Cyworld USA...er.... not so much so. Facebook: 10000000, Cyworld: 0. ahem

GIVE AN INCH...
I figure whoever wises up first (foreigner businesses coming to korea or korean businesses going abroad) is gunna be a happy camper.

Unfortunately for Korean companies/internet... as of yet, it seems Korean pride is as reluctant to loosen its grip on its business systems as our Red northern counterpart is unwilling to the trust capitalist slave driving warmongers of the West---and as it turns out, the world is a lot bigger, and open standards are a lot sexier (and no I don't mean pr0n) than any one cool fixed "internet solution".

so, IMO, unless some of these cool innovative "distinctly Korean" internet portals, solutions, or proprietary systems pick up the pace in innovation (again) and/or loosen their collars (swallow their pride?) a bit when moving out internationally....

yah... the wake call will be a rough one. (you know, kinda like going out to pick up some fine ladies in your "awwyah! I look cool in these 70s disco plaid pants" only to find out that disco sux and go home to your gf hanging out with some dood in imported Armani jeans. or... something.)

wait...did I say that out loud? doh! o_0''
lol

THE DISCLAIMER
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the forecast is all doom and gloom. There are plenty of good and creative korean sites still forging ahead and looking very promising (even from portals). And also plenty of great stuff from ROTW coming into Korea... at a happy win-win balance. Also, keep in mind, this is all very early trend talk. People here are only starting to really take peaks behind the curtain not outta ignorance, but because although the proprietary walls are quite thick, they are "Korean pretty". And keeping with the analogy, Koreans just really aren't that interested in looking a bald white guy behind a curtain. lol.

FUTURE EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE:
The mobile industry in Korea is also still "leading the world" (or at the forefront) and one can make many similar parallels to the internet market--though with much more hopeful outlook. More accurately, there is still much more time to act/change/adapt/or throw up more walls, relatively speaking, while it IS still "leading" and before "fire alarms" ever need go off. Just multiply the proprietary issues about factor of 100 and you'll get an idea why no one is freakin out about Android or iPhones yet or why Nokia STILL can't hasn't been able to make it back into the market. Times change of course... but that's why I said "relatively speaking". heh

ps. yes, its very early in the morning and I need much coffee. +_+;;

-- So sayeth GrendelKhan{TSU}

12:32 am on Dec 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Grendel,
How true, how true! I can't believe the number of Korean sites I've been to that insist on forcing me to install and run some rinky-dink proprietary plug-in that pretty much does the same thing (except with lots of bugs and errors) as Flash or Shockwave or other "standard" plug-in. Without it, the page (or entire site) is a giant error graphic.

On top of that, even in the rare case that I agree to load the plug-in, the installation is rarely seemless and pesters me with Konglish messages (that's *IF* the messages are even in English!).

And even after you install the plug-in, it seems like every third time you visit the site it automatically installs an update to the plug-in.

The online banking section of the KEB site has become so bloated that my wife's laptop chokes- she has to use my computer. Which has English Windows, so it's lots of fun when error popups occur.

[edited by: LifeinAsia at 12:33 am (utc) on Dec. 22, 2007]

12:12 pm on Dec 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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rgr that.

those are also reasons, without fundamental changes to the market, why Firefox will never make it Korea.

all banks and top internet sites here (portals, social network etc) are all have major activeX installs. +_+