RealTime IT News

China Launches Sites For Trade, Standardisation

China Launches Sites For Trade, Standardisation
China Standard Service Net is now using the Web to provide information on China's recommended national standards, relevant rules and regulations, industry standards and product approvals.

China's Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation launched an official Web site, and a Web site on the China market.

The MOFTEC site offers information on Chinese companies, trade statistics, laws and regulations.

The China market Web site provides information on six major product categories: electronics and machinery; textiles; light industry and crafts; foodstuffs, native products and animal byproducts; hardware, minerals and chemicals; medicine and nutritional products.

(Xinhua News Agency, China; July 16, July 10, 1998)

France Makes Rapid Strides in Internet Age
Last year's decision by the French government to embrace the Internet as the driver of the information economy underlies a critical transformation of French acceptance of PCs and Internet-based services.

Internet traffic is rising by 15 percent a month and the number of domain name servers using '.fr' has risen by 198 percent in one year. Now, 81 percent of French businesses that employ 500 or more people are using the Internet. At the beginning of the year, only 25 percent of French SMEs used the Internet; that percentage will have increased to 48 percent by 1999.

(Internet magazine, Britain; July 16, 1998)

National Stock Exchange of India to Launch Extranet-Based Services
The National Stock Exchange of India has an online portfolio management system (PMS), where the users could define 10 stocks of their choice and monitor their values on a daily basis.

It proved to be so popular that almost 900 users signed up in the first month itself. The Web site now gets around 40 people registering for the PMS every day. On user requests, the number of stocks that could be tracked was increased from 10 to 20.

The NSE is also working on setting up an Extranet which will improve communication between the members and the exchange. Using the Extranet, NSE will pump business related information and routine circulars into the mailboxes of its members, thus cutting down on paperwork. The NSE even plans to put up tutorials on the stock market to educate novice stock market players.

(The Economic Times, India; July 16, 1998)

Singapore E-Commerce Laws to Create "Trust Hub"
Singapore's recently introduced Electronic Transactions Bill, based on model legislation drafted by the United Nations, covers digital signatures, encryption standards, and digital certificate authorities.

"We want to establish Singapore as a trust hub. It's not just the hardware, it's the total system--the administration, the culture. We want to ensure people feel safe operating here," says Minister for Information and the Arts George Yeo.

Market research firm IDC forecasts e-commerce activity in Singapore will jump from about $5 million this year to $883 million in 2001.

(Asiaweek; July 17, 1998)

Britain's Cable and Wireless Gets Unique Edge Via MCI's Internet Assets
Cable and Wireless, Britain's second largest telecommunications group, will purchase the Internet assets of U.S. telco MCI.

It acquired the U.S. company's Internet infrastructure--some 22 domestic nodes, 44 peering agreements and about 1,200 sales and engineering staff. The deal also includes contracts for Internet services with about 1,100 ISPs, 3,300 directly connected corporate customers and 300,000 customers who dial up for their Internet connection.

It also includes relationships with more than 100 large corporate customers for services including Web-site hosting and firewalls. C&W therefore is now in a position--which no other European rival can duplicate--to establish itself as a leading operator in the fast growing U.S. market, and to transform the former MCI operation into a global Internet outfit using C&W's presence in more than 70 countries around the world.

(Financial Times, Britain; July 17, 1998)

U.S. Companies Need to Re-Assess Approach for E-Commerce in Europe
Business-to-consumer e-commerce in Europe is expected to grow from $126 million in 1997 to more than $5 billion in 2002, while business-to- business e-commerce will expand from $1 billion in 1997 to more than $30 billion in 2001.

Many U.S. companies, however, frequently approach Europe as if it were a single entity, and overlook crucial differences in basic infrastructure and e-commerce laws. For example, the vast majority of German catalog retailers will not sell to customers who do not have a delivery address in Germany or an account with a German bank.

(CIO Magazine; July 15, 1998)

New Zealand to Consider Joining Global Internet Consortium
The Internet Institute of New Zealand is seeking corporate sponsors for a scheme aimed at plugging Kiwi entrepreneurs into a worldwide support network.

The institute's new director, Howard Frederick, is floating the idea of becoming the New Zealand partner in the international Global Technology Partners scheme, an Internet-based group of consultants, mentors and entrepreneurs that helps fledgling companies make connections.

The proposed Regional Technology Alliance of New Zealand (RTANZ) will work alongside others in North America, Europe and Asia, using a series of groupware servers provided by Lotus and IBM to connect entrepreneurs around the globe.

Global Technology Partners is a scheme pioneered by the Los Angeles Regional Technology Alliance, with support from IBM and Lotus.

(InfoTech Weekly, New Zealand; July 14, 1998)

Canadian Court Ruling Addresses Internet Defamation
Individuals who make defamatory remarks on the Internet may become more vulnerable to legal action following a Canadian court ruling that forces several Internet service providers to reveal the identities of subscribers using pseudonyms.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a U.S.-based free speech advocacy group, said the court ruling was "very disturbing."

David Potts, though, a Canadian lawyer specialising in Internet libel, said the decision served notice that people must "act the same way online as off-line."

(Singapore Business Times; July 14, 1998)

CommerceNet Australia Aims for E-Commerce Alliances
CommerceNet Australia, one of 20 such bodies worldwide, was set up two years ago with backing from the South Australian Government.

"We create opportunities for our members to share knowledge--test beds and opportunities to put their ideas into effect," said Randy Whiting, CommerceNet president and chief executive. CommerceNet wants to foster "win-win" alliances for e-commerce, such as those between Federal Express and Amazon.com in the U.S.

CommerceNet Australia board member Philip Moody applauded Communications Minister Richard Alston's recent announcement of an IE (Information Economy) Day promoting e-business in regional areas.

(The Australian; July 14, 1998)