RealTime IT News

IDC Sees Internet Boom Time for Asia Pacific

Just-released market research from IDC (International Data Corp.) pegs the region's online population at 21.8 million by the end of this year, with spending over US$2.2 billion.

These figures, from the second of IDC's biannual updates of Internet user forecasts, include 13 Asia/Pacific countries excluding Japan. This firm contrasts this with its figures of 12.9 million users spending about US$723 million by the end of 1998.

"The continuing explosion of Web connectivity in business and increased activities in the consumer and education sector are fueling this growth," said Pete Hitchen, Internet research manager at IDC Asia/Pacific.

Hitchen also pointed to other driving forces such as an increase in the number of Internet technology and content suppliers, buyers online, new foreign players entering the Asia/Pacific markets, and a rapid increase in business Internet usage.

The IDC report predicted that the compound annual growth rate of Internet users from Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) for 1997-2003 would rise to 56 percent, exceeding the 47 percent rise predicted by IDC in February 1999. The company forecasts a boom in Asia/Pacific's Internet user population, with an exponential increase in the number of regional users reaching 95.2 million by the end of 2003. Online revenues are predicted at US$87.5 billion by this time.

China, India and South Korea were the key geographies identified by IDC as areas of opportunity, although each of the Asia/Pacific countries saw consistent growth in Internet activities.

"This Internet boom in Asia/Pacific highlights the potential of doing business online. Internet business, retailers, web sellers and government bodies should take note of this rapidly evolving market," emphasized Hitchen.