"The Korean internet is 10 years behind the rest of the world"

Friday, August 13, 2010

So say a number of people from this article. First I'll translate it and then add some background.

Korean developers say that Korea's isolated standards and various government regulations have made the Korean internet environment a decade behind that of other countries. The Korean web standards community (webstandards.or.kr) and Google Korea polled 384 developers, revealing the following information on the 22nd (of July):

Developers say that the internet is continuing to become more open, but 75% of those polled say that Korea has large problems in this are; 41% say that Korea's isolated standards are the largest problem and 34% cite government regulations.

Only 13% of those polled say that the Korean web environment does not lag behind other countries; 57% said that it lags behind by 1 to 5 years, while 26% said it is behind by 5 to 10 years.

74% of them selected ActiveX as the most crucial problem that needs to be fixed (note: Korea still uses a ton of ActiveX), 17% said internet payment methods were most crucial, and 7% said the limited ID confirmation system (this last one is a law enacted in 2006 or 2007 where - I think - user information has to be provided to the government if a site has over 100,000 visitors a day).

45% of those who responded used an 'open' web browser (here this means anything but IE), with 20% using Firefox, 12% Google Chrome, 11% Safari, and 1% Opera.
 You might ask why developers still end up using other browsers besides IE more than 50% of the time, and the reason is quite simple: very often Korean web pages simply don't work right if the browser isn't IE, so you either have to use it or have a separate IE window open in case you stumble upon a page that you can't properly access with a different browser. Most of the time paying for anything will also require IE plus an ActiveX component, so if you want to order anything once again you have to turn on IE, and so on and so on.

I still predict (as I did when it came out) that Google Chrome will end up being the most popular browser in Korea. Korean pages are extremely script-heavy, and Chrome is often the only browser that can render them without freezing up at all.

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