Sunday, October 24, 2021

Samsung World's Fifth Largest Brand Value

Samsung, by far the largest of Korea's corporations, had the fifth largest brand value in the world, according to the annual report recently published by Interbrand.  Only Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google had higher brand values.   This measure helps to explain why Korea is sometimes referred to as the "Republic of Samsung."  As shown in the graphic provided by Samsung's newsroom (click for a full size version) Samsung Electronics rose from 19th in the international brand value rankings in 2010 to fifth in 2020 and 2021.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Korea completes world's first nationwide LTE public safety network

 In March of this year, Korea completed the world's first nationwide public safety network.  The accomplishment received some attention in the mainstream media and arguably should have been noted earlier in this blog to update earlier posts. (see some of them here). As reported by ZDNet, Samsung announced completion of the public safety LTE network in April of this year.  The ZDNet article noted that "It will be used by 333 public safety organisations and agencies in the country, including the police, firefighters, emergency medical services, and the military. According to Samsung, the nationwide network will serve as a unified platform that helps interoperability among these various public safety institutions during emergency situations."  Furthermore, the article noted that "The deployment includes the company's mission-critical push-to-talk feature, a kind of evolved multimedia broadcast multicast service, Samsung said.  It enables simultaneous transmission to up to 2,500 user devices per cell, double the number of devices supported by previous generation technologies and standards, such as Terrestrial Trunked Radio. The PS-LTE network is also interconnected with LTE-Maritime and LTE-Railway networks which also operate on 700MHz spectrum, the company added."

Saturday, September 25, 2021

The Sewol Ferry tragedy and digital technologies

For those who wish to understand the full impact of the tragic sinking of the Sewol Ferry in April of 2014, the half-hour film by Yi Seung-jun is must viewing.  It was published by The New Yorker as a documentary episode in 2019 and has also received wider distribution on YouTube.  Consequently, this post is long overdue.
 The film presents the tragic event as a chronological documentary that is truly heart-wrenching, but necessary viewing for those who want to better understand the Sewol tragedy and its influence on Korea's politics and digital development  Those of you who may have followed earlier posts on this blog (which can be reviewed at this link) will benefit from viewing the film. 

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Korea's exports surge 34.9 percent in August


As reported by The Korea Joongang Daily and other local media, Korea's exports grew by about 35 percent in August, with semiconductor chips leading the way.  As noted in the article, "August’s exports were led by semiconductor exports, up 43 percent year-on-year to $11.7 billion as demand for computer chips remained strong.  Exports of semiconductors in August hit a record. Semiconductor exports increased for 14 consecutive months, and the rate of increase has been double digit for five months."  Other ICT sector exports or products heavily influenced by digitalization played a role in this pattern.  "Wireless telecommunication equipment exports were up 62.2 percent year-on-year to $1.4 billion helped along by the rollout of new phones.  Exports from new industries, including those involved in the making of electric vehicles (EV) and biopharmaceuticals, were strong. EV exports surged 130.8 percent, while biopharmaceutical exports grew 17.1 percent."  Clearly digital technologies and industries that depend on them are the primary engine of this nation's export led economy. 

Monday, August 2, 2021

Korea's exports surge during COVID, led by semiconductors

 As reported widely in the Korean press, Korea's exports surged during the COVID pandemic to date, with the main export being semiconductors.  As reported by The Korea Times, in July the nation's exports reached their highest level since 1956.  The pattern during the COVID outbreak is shown in the accompanying figure (click for a full-size version).   Automobile exports also contributed to this export success, as noted in The Korea Times article. " Overseas chip sales rose 39.6 percent to $11 billion on growing demand from data centers. Automobile exports also rose 26.4 percent year-on-year in July to $4.1 billion, backed by easing automotive chip shortages, as well as higher sales of high-end models, including in sport utility vehicles and electric cars."