Fixation on Korea’s special IT platform

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Galápagos syndrome (Japanese: ガラパゴス化 Garapagosu-ka) is a term that describes the phenomenon of a product or a society evolving in isolation from globalization. … (omit) … “Japan’s cellphones are like the endemic species that Darwin encountered on the Galápagos Islands — fantastically evolved and divergent from their mainland cousins — explains Takeshi Natsuno, who teaches at Tokyo’s Keio University.”

Source: ‘Galápagos syndrome’, Wikipedia

Same syndrome has occurred in S.Korea. The WIPI(Wireless Internet Platform for Interoperability) had made the Korean mobile manufactures join the smartphone revolution. For the device which was sold in Korean domestic market had to install this mobile platform as a mandatory. So S.Korean manufacturers and contents providers had to obey this policy until the policy had withdrawn in April 2009. It was a barrier for foreign manufactures such as HTC, Sony-Ericsson or Apple. But in the end it had catch up with the domestic manufacturers such as LG mobile or Samsung mobile.

Another syndrome is official authentication certificate for online banking or online commerce. Unlike the Verisign or other solutions, this Korean market specified certificate let you download and install solution in your PCs. Most of these certificates are developed on Active-X of Microsoft, which is used as malware programs these days. Because of these environment, the market share of Internet Explorer in S.Korean market is around 90%. Compared with S.Korea, the Google’s chrome web browser got the no.1 market share these days. Most of the S.Korean website let you access from Internet Explorer, because it is customized for Internet Explorer only!

(Try to access Korean Air website: http://www.koreanair.com

With these IT policy failure, S.Korean government is trying to develop a factor to strengthen its Galapagos syndrome. The government has announced it as the World’s First Certified Electronic Address “#Mail”. It will be launched from this October. If you want to send certified mail, you may write the address as aaa#gmail.com instead of aaa@gmail.com.

The S. Korean government announced that #Mail is a new electronic address that will guarantee and confirm that the mail was sent and received by the intended party acting as an online registered mail. You can send various contracts and notices via #Mail as well as store important documents in your #Mail account.

But the problem is that Gmail or Yahoo email service already provides certified access as ‘https://’. Also if S.Korea has population as China, it will be powerful. But S.Korea population is around 50 million in 2012.

I don’t know how this service might come out in a near future. But there is a standardized certified email service at this point. Why should there be a service that shall make Korea’s IT as a Galapagos Isles?

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