RealTime IT News

Asia-Pacific Region To Have 27 Million Internet Users By Year 2001

Asia-Pacific Region To Have 27 Million Internet Users By Year 2001
Internet usage in the Asia-Pacific region is forecast to rise by 93 per cent from this year to 27 million users by 2001, according to Kuala Lumpur-based industry research firm Asia Network Research.

Internet users in the region now number an estimated 14 million, up from 8.8 million in 1997, with Japan accounting for 63 per cent of users.

Vignette Promotes Internet Relationship Management For European Clients
Web solutions company Vignette develops enterprise-strength content management applications such as Story Server.

According to Vignette, Internet Relationship Management (IRM) is now the key to success for any future online business. Vignette's European clients include Bertelsmann and Lufthansa in Germany, and the Guardian newspaper in Britain.

Story Server helps build relationships by tailoring the presentation of information to different kinds of users. Vignette highlights four essential IRM functions: Lifecycle Personalisation, Open Profiling Services, Advanced Content Management, and Decision Support Capabilities.

(Financial Times, Britain; August 10, 1998)

Internet Access Via TV Seems Set To Make Mark In German, French Markets
The need for speed and the attraction of interactive services is driving companies all across Europe to trial Internet access services delivered by TV.

WebTV Networks officially began trials of its set-top box (STB) Internet service in Germany with Deutsche Telekom. France Telecom plans to work with French telecoms equipment manufacturer Com 1 to develop a TV-based service for accessing the Internet.

WebTV has been running a trial in Britain with the BBC since 1 July.

(Internet Magazine, Britain; August 27, 1998) Yahoo! to Promote Amazon.com In Japanese Market
Yahoo! Japan announced that it will start carrying a button on its site to link directly to Amazon.com's Web site.

The company said it intends to use the deal with Amazon.com to push into electronic commerce, substantially reinforcing its earnings structure. Yahoo Japan expects to receive some $3.85 million worth of income over the next three years from Amazon.com in its first tie-up with a sales company.

The company will also receive commissions for books and other goods sold through Amazon.com's Web. Advertising income accounted for some 70% of Yahoo Japan's sales in April-June.

(Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan; September 4, 1998)

Australian Organisation Posts E-Commerce Certification Info Online
Standards Australia is pushing for the adoption of nationwide standards crucial to a Public Key Authentication Network (PKAF) for electronic commerce, according to Bala Balakrishnan, project manager with Standards Australia's communications technologies group.

KPMG is reportedly set to becoming Australia's largest accredited certification authority. Copies of the draft standards are available online.

(Sydney Morning Herald; September 4, 1998)

New Zealand Government to Unveil Encryption Laws for Internet Commerce
The New Zealand government is set to begin work on laws governing the use of digital encryption technology, used to protect electronic documents in Internet commerce.

A National Cryptography Policy Committee will prepare government policy statements on the use of scrambling technology. It will consult widely with key parties abroad like the OECD, European Union and APEC.

Legal and regulatory barriers to Internet commerce are the target of other government initiatives due this month, such as a government statement on electronic commerce and a Law Commission report detailing the legal barriers to Internet trading.

(InfoTech Weekly, New Zealand; September 4, 1998)

Singapore Launches Training, E-Commerce Suites for Small Businesses
National Computer Systems (NCS) and SingNet, both Singapore Telecom subsidiaries, launched a suite of services called EZ Commerce to help small and medium enterprises set up Internet storefronts and accept online electronic payments.

Singapore's National Computer Board plans to organise the country's first mass Internet training session at the Singapore Indoor Stadium from September 25 to 29 to promote the use of the Internet in the business sectors and local community.

Called Surf @ Stadium, the event hopes to train about 3,750 people to use the Internet, in either English or Mandarin.

(Straits Times, Business Times, Singapore; September 4, September 3, 1998)

Spanish Netizens to Boycott Cyberspace In Protest Against Tariffs
Many of Spain's 1.7 million Internet users plan to boycott the system for a day and leave their home telephones off the hook.

Web site owners were asked to change their homepages to give any wayward caller the message-- "Page on strike." The protest is against steep increases in telephone charges.

The Association of Internet Users, with 6,000 members, is backing the strike. It plans to present a petition with 13,000 names, plus comments received on the Internet, to government authorities. Telecom provider Telefnica--which has a virtual monopoly over Internet access--puts the blame for the new rate structure on the government.

(Financial Times, Britain; September 2, 1998)

Indian Trade Body Argues for Local Content, Local Relevance of Net
For the Net to become truly relevant and useful for Indian business, corporates in the country should create services to make the Internet relevant not just on the global front but also in the domestic market, according to India's apex trade and industry body, FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry).

Business information on India and Indian companies are so far not adequately presented, it said.

(Economic Times, India; September 2, 1998)

British Telecom Aims for Domination of Britain's ISP Market
The shape of the ISP market in Britain--currently serviced by about 280 ISPs--may change dramatically in the coming year.

Not content with dominating the telecom market in Britian, British Telecom is now planning to try to take over the ISP market via an upcoming service called BT Click which will offer Internet access for two pennies per minute to anybody with a BT telephone line.

Access fees will be added to the telephone bill. BT is already involved in a project to offer a free e-mail address to everybody in Britain for the millennium.

(Boardwatch magazine; August 1998)

Asian Publisher to Expand Tie-Up with CNet, Provide Local Content
Asian Internet publisher Tricast is gearing up to deliver diversified online content to its audience in the region.

"We are now looking at different brand names from overseas to cover other sectors of the population," said CEO Lim Joo Hong. "The eventual goal is to move from CNET to a collection of the best content from overseas, but with localised and relevant content for the region," he said.

Tricast is the Singapore-based company responsible for bringing online infotech news provider CNET to Asia. Tricast has launched English-language and local-language CNET sites in Asia for the Hong Kong and Singapore markets.

(Hong Kong Standard; September 3, 1998)