Thursday, September 21, 2017

First in Korea, then Globally, Internet Ad Spending Surpasses TV

In Korea, as shown on the graphic at left from eMarketer,  total digital (or Internet) advertising spending exceeded television advertising in 2015. 
On a global basis, 2017 marks the year that total internet advertising spending exceeds television advertising, as shown on the accompanying graphic (click for a full-size version). 
On a global basis, Internet advertising spending will exceed television advertising this year (2017), as shown in the second graphic, published by (click for a full-size version)   Not surprisingly, as reported by, Google and Facebook are the two dominant players on the global stage, and in 2016 the top 30 Internet advertisers accounted for 44% of global spending, an increase from only 33% in 2012.
The data from these two charts show that Korea's digital development continues to proceed in advance of global trends.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Persistent Air Pollution Problem in Korea

As reported in The Korea Times today accompanied by the photo at left (click for a full size version of this "all too familiar sight"), "Korea has worst air of advanced economies." Although The Korea Times report cites the OECD as the source, it appears the data come from The State of Global Air 2017  (download the PDF here)and its accompanying website (explore and visualize the data online here).
I'm teaching an undergraduate class this semester on ICT for Sustainable Development (ICT4SD) with 24 students who no doubt have some of the same questions that you and I do about the extent, possible control and health effects of air pollution.  We're using Korea as a point of reference throughout the class.  One of my questions has been the relative contribution of China versus Korea to pollution over the Korean peninsula.  We should look to the data, rather than our hunches for an answer to this question.  In that regard, current research seems to show that South Korea itself generates a significant proportion of the fine particle pollution in this country, and that pollution emanating from China also contributes, although not as much as one might suppose.  In any event, the reduction of such pollution in northeast Asia will involve collaborative efforts by both nations.

Fewer defectors from North to South Korea

According to South Korea's Unification Ministry, fewer North Koreans have defected to the South this year.  As shown in this chart published by Statista (click to see a larger version) "between January and August, 780 North Koreans managed to complete the dangerous journey and make it across the 38th parallel. The decline is being attributed to tighter border security by China (where most defectors flee) and North Korea as well as enhanced government surveillance by Pyongyang." The overall pattern shown in the chart is also striking, given that Kim Jong Il, father of the current ruler Kim Jong Un, was in power through most of 2011. The pattern of defections clearly changed after the younger Kim assumed power and executed a number of military and party leaders, including his own uncle.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Can the U.S. intercept a North Korean missile?

Statista published a very interesting infographic today with data bearing on the question of whether the U.S. could actually intercept and destroy a North Korean missile. (click on graphic to see a larger version)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Two things missing in discussions of North Korea nuclear-missile programs and war threat

Two important topics are conspicuously missing from international media coverage of the North Korea nuclear and missile programs, and the threat of war on the Korean peninsula.  One is the impact that another war in Korea would likely have on the global ICT sector, given South Korea's dominant role in the global market for semiconductors (especially memory chips), displays (ranging from handphones, through tablets, to PCs and large screen television or outdoor displays) and smart phones.  Although there is much more to the story, a recent report by CNBC noted that South Korea is a "lynchpin" for all global tech. The second is the impending 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, located just south of the DMZ in Kangwon Province, the only province divided between North and South Korea.  I've posted frequently on this topic over the years (check out this search for "Pyeongchang" or use the "Search this blog" capability on the upper right hand side of this page)
Although they alone do not form the entire context for understanding what's going on in Korea, they definitely deserve more attention.