RealTime IT News

International Briefs

E*Trade Expands Operations Into Britain
Online stockbroker E*Trade is moving into the British online share trading market by creating a company out of a joint venture with Electronic Share Information.

E*Trade will be the only stockbroker to offer purely online facilities as opposed to online trading in addition to traditional means.

Britain is seen as a more mature market than Germany and Sweden by financial institutions.

(Internet Magazine, Britain; June 11, 1998)

Thai Agency Proposes Six E-Commerce Laws
Thailand is moving closer to supporting electronic commerce with the passage of six relevant laws.

National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (Nectec) Director Pairash Thajchayapong said six e-commerce laws were expected to be submitted to the Cabinet by May 1999. The laws cover data protection, computer crime, EDI, digital signatures, electronic fund transfers, and public benefits from telecoms.

Participants in framing the laws include the Thai Police Department, Customs Department, Business Economics Department of the Commerce Ministry, Thai Chamber of Commerce and Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI).

Recommendations have been received from the United Nations Committee on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). Nectec used the UNCITRAL and cyberlaws of other countries such as the U.S., Malaysia and Germany as models for the laws.

(Bangkok Post; June 10, 1998)

Intel: E-Business, Internet Can Help Asia Recover From Financial Crisis
E-business and the Internet have the potential to help drive economic growth well into the next century for Asian countries like Malaysia, according to John Davies, vice-president and general manager of Intel Asia Pacific.

"Companies are really just scratching the surface of a brave new world with Web-based commerce," he said.

Despite the current economic woes affecting most of the Asia Pacific markets, Davies expressed optimism about the future of the Internet and Intranet growth within the region.

"According to IDC reports issued in February, the projected compounded annual growth rate of Internet users in the region is 63%, not far off from the 69% growth rate projected before the regional economic turmoil began last year."

(The Star, Malaysia; June 10, 1998)

Durlacher Releases Quarterly Internet Report on Market in Britain
Durlacher's Quarterly Internet Report, sponsored by British Telecom, gives a picture of corporate access reaching near-saturation levels in Britain.

Figures released in late May 1998 show that the percentage of corporates with Internet access has grown from 85% to 94% in the preceding twelve months. Sixty nine percent of major companies now have leased lines, a figure that represents a growth of over 100% since mid 1997.

Total leased-line connections have increased from 4,115 in April 1997 to 7,500 in February 1998. Where only 13% of major corporates in Britain were operating an Intranet in October 1996, that figure had reached 63% by the end of the first quarter of 1998.

(Financial Times, Britain; June 10, 1998)

Vietnam Gains 6,000 Internet Users in Six Months
Vietnam has 6,000 Internet subscribers only six months after connecting with the Internet, according to Vietnam Post and Telecommunications (VNPT).

The number would be about 10,000 if it included email-only users.

Vietnam's four Internet service providers are Vietnam Data Communications Corporation (VDC), FPT Corporation, the National Information Technology Institute (NIT) and Saigon Postel (SPT).

(Web Vision, India; June 15, 1998)

Leading Net Companies Expand Into Global Markets Via Local Partners
Seattle-based online book retailer Amazon.com acquired two local European competitors, Bookpages of Britain and Telebuch of Germany.

Auto-By-Tel announced the formation of Auto-By-Tel UK through an alliance with the car distributor Inchcape Motors.

Walt Disney teamed up with Telecom Italia Net of Italy to launch its first subscription-based Web sites in Europe two weeks ago.

The main reason behind most of these moves, going against all conventional thinking, is that the Internet and the Web have not turned out to be global entities.

"There may be global online brands," said Mark Lorimer, the president of Auto-By-Tel, "but the market is definitely local, culture-specific, and subject to very different regulations. You need local partners to shepherd you through the terrain."

(New York Times; June 9, 1998)

Swedish Telecom Ericsson's Next Big Challenge: The Internet Market
Swedish telecommunications equipment giant Ericsson is putting big money on the Internet.

Sven-Christer Nilsson, the new chief executive of Sweden's biggest company (by market capitalisation) said the next generation of its cellular phones will be multimedia-enhanced, offering sophisticated, high-speed Internet access.

Ericsson has 40% of the world's cellular network market, and supplies network equipment, for fixed and mobile networks, to more than 90% of the world's telcos.

The worlds of telecommunications and data communications are converging, and Ericsson aims to help its telco customers transition their networks over the next 10-15 years to become full IP networks.

Ericsson derives 96% of its revenue from outside Sweden.

(InfoTech Weekly, New Zealand; June 8, 1998)

Five New ISP Licenses Issued in Malaysia
Malaysia has awarded Internet service provider licenses to five new companies, bringing the total number of ISPs there to seven.

The new ISPs are Time Telecommunications, Binariang, Mutiara Telecommunications, Cellular Communications and Prismanet.

Energy, Telecommunications and Post Minister Datuk Leo Moggie called upon the companies to work with the two existing ISPs, Telekom Malaysia's TMNet and Mimos' Jaring, to share the cost of the Internet exchange that connects local ISPs together.

(Web Vision, India; June 15, 1998)

National Stock Exchange of India Officially Launches Web Site
India's National Stock Exchange (NSE) officially announced the launch of its Web site on June 5.

The site features stock prices, volume traded and information on 1,500-odd stocks traded on the NSE, press releases, a live ticker featuring the latest traded prices on the Nifty scrips, a live portfolio manager, e-mail triggers set to user-defined scrip values, and archived graphs of scrip movements available within periods set by the user.

(Business Line; June 6, 1998)

Survey: Australian Companies On Way to Harnessing the Net
More than 74% of Australian businesses will have established an Internet presence by the end of the year and more than 90% will do so within two years, according to a survey by Web developer Fluid Interactive Communication.

One hundred organisations were surveyed across the nation, ranging from wholesalers to construction and mining.

Sixty percent of the businesses were found to have a Web site. However, the survey came under attack from the Internet Industry Association, which claimed it misrepresented the true picture of Internet take-up.

(The Australian; June 4, 1998)

EDI and the Web: Boosting Each Other's Importance In U.S., Europe
Studies conducted in Britain by management consultancy Druid and in the U.S. by research firm Forrester both conclude that EDI use will continue to increase, even though the Internet will increasingly play a part.

The uncontrolled World Wide Web is bringing new companies into stuffy old electronic data interchange (EDI), with its long-winded standards-making procedures, its coded electronic documents and its need for special software and telecommunications services.

In return, EDI is helping to give business respectability to the Internet. The Internet takes small businesses over the initial electronic trading hurdle, and as they see the benefits they may move up to EDI.

(Financial Times, Britain; June 3, 1998)