I'm writing this post in the library of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in Geneva, where I've spent the past two weeks working with an expert group on a forthcoming study. I fly back to Korea tomorrow.
Since my secondment to the ITU coincided with the start of the Trump administration I couldn't help but talk with colleagues here about the strange new twists and turns of U.S. politics. One of my ITU colleagues passed along a copy of this article, published January 25 by Anthony Rutkowski, a longtime employee of the ITU. It is a thoughtful piece and I recommend it to you.
Saturday, January 28, 2017
Monday, January 9, 2017
which I encourage you to read here) reads as follows. "Despite the ongoing slowdown in the global smartphone industry, conflicting earnings forecasts from Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics indicate how crucial handsets remain as their key profit driver." Indeed, this is the current narrative and thinking of many here in Korea. Unfortunately, it does not square with global trends and the reality that this nation faces. For well over decade now leaders of the ICT sector, from industry, government and academia, have recognized the need for Korea to shift from its heavy dependence on hardware manufacturing and export, to software and services. Globally, services constitute the major part of the ICT market. More importantly, they are growing at a much faster rate than the hardware segment of the market.
Friday, January 6, 2017
Late last month the Korea Joongang Daily published an article entitled "In Korea, cash is no longer King." Among other things, it reported data from a Bank of Korea study showing how much cash Korean's carry in their wallets these days, broken down by age cohort. (click on the infographic to see a full size version)
These days, Korea leads the world in use of various forms of electronic payment, including credit and debit cards, smart phones and most recently the introduction of Internet banking. According to the Bank of Korea, only about 20 percent of financial transactions these days involve cash. Welcome to 2017 in the world's digital network leader!