Wednesday, January 30, 2008

AsiaMedia :: KOREA: YouTube opens Korean site with dim outlook

AsiaMedia :: KOREA: YouTube opens Korean site with dim outlook: "Local competition and Internet censorship pose challenges for success of newly-launched Korean YouTube

The Korea Times
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
By Cho Jin-seo

YouTube opened a Korean-language version site Wednesday, joining the already jam-packed video-sharing Web service market in Korea.

The Korean YouTube site faces a daunting mission in competing against locally grown services from Daum, Pandora TV and Afreeca. Tricky censorship regulations and skeptical sentiment toward foreign Internet firms will also become a hurdle to success for the U.S.-based site in Korea.

'Korea has one of the fastest IT infrastructure in the world and the broadband penetration here is very high so YouTube will be able to fill the demand for videos,' Sakina Arsiwala, the international manager of YouTube, said during a press conference in the Hotel Shilla in Seoul.

It is a belated arrival for YouTube in Korea, considering it is already operating localized services in 18 other nations. Google, which owns YouTube, has been cautious about expanding in Korea knowing that many other globally popular Web services of YouTube's caliber have failed to win over the Korean market.

Since the early days of the Internet boom in the late 1990s, Korean Internet users have shown a strong favor for locally grown sites. For example, Google and Yahoo respectively have less than 5 percent of the search-engine market share, while Korean search engines Naver, Daum, and Nate continue to prosper. Social-networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace have even weaker presences here though the latter hopes to open a Korean site in the first half of the year.

Recognizing the cultural and language barriers, YouTube's Arsiwala said that the Korean version will have locally-made content from seven local Internet, broadcasting and entertainment firms, including CJ Internet, TU Media and JYP Entertainment."

AsiaMedia :: KOREA: Revival of press rooms confirmed

AsiaMedia :: KOREA: Revival of press rooms confirmed: "President-elect Lee Myung-bak's planned policies undoes President Roh's pressroom closures

The Korea Herald
Friday, January 25, 2008
By Kim Ji-hyun

President-elect Lee Myung-bak's government transition team yesterday confirmed that press working rooms will be reinstated as part of Lee's 'press-friendly' policies.

'Freedom of the press is the lifeline to democracy, and the public's right to know must be protected at all cost. The president-elect is firm on this belief and will continue to make efforts to create a 'press-friendly' government,' said committee chairwoman Lee Kyung-sook during a conference with press executives yesterday.

Key executives from local press associations and newspapers attended, along with reporters covering the Foreign Ministry and the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, which are seeing exacerbating disputes between the authorities and the press after closing down working rooms.

'We have lost much of this much-heralded freedom of the press ever since the government implemented its new press policies. Under no circumstances should government authority be permitted to invade such freedom,' said Kim Kyung-ho, head of the nationwide journalist league. A prime minister's order went into effect last month upholding President Roh Moo-hyun's plans for shutting down and merging press working rooms to block contact between reporters and government officials. In their stead, Roh called for briefing rooms where reporters, regardless of their beats, would gather for daily briefings. The briefings, however, mostly lack significant information and officials have grown increasingly reluctant to meet the press.

Date Posted: 1/25/2008"

Monday, January 28, 2008


KBS WORLD: "Two-way Mobile Payment Plan

The presidential transition team is known to be reviewing two new mobile phone payment plans: a two-way plan under which the receiver and the caller split communication charges fifty-fifty, and a cumulative plan that requires callers to pay more the longer their calls get.
According to the transition committee and the Ministry of Information and Communication, the new plan is part of President-elect Lee Myung-bak's commitment to lower communication costs but also to reduce over-consumption and change the system so it meets global standards."