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RealTime IT News

Singapore Aims For $4 Billion In Internet Transactions By Year 2003

"We aim to make Singapore an e-commerce hub for the region and beyond," said Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the recent Comdex/Asia show in Singapore.

A new Electronic Transactions Act came into force in July. Singapore's copyright laws are being further reviewed to protect rights over the Internet.

"By year 2003, we aim to have $4 billion worth of products and services transacted electronically through Singapore," Loong said. The government is also promoting the use of procurement and supply chain management networks.

ISP Competition To Heat Up for Taiwan's 2 Million Internet Users
The number of Internet users in Taiwan is now reported to exceed 2 million.

This market is attracting several conglomerates, including ERA Entertainment, the Koo's Group, and electronic dictionary manufacturer Lexicomp Industry Corp. These market newcomers are becoming competitive threats to established ISPs, such as HiNet and SeedNet.

Industry observers say the market will be pushed toward competition involving more diversified services, faster transmission speeds, easier connections and lower rates.

(Commercial Times, Taiwan; September 25, 1998)

Report: British Banks, Online Bank Usage Lag European Counterparts
According to a recent survey from Fletcher Research, banks in Britain have been slow to respond to the potential of the Internet to develop a loyal customer base.

As a result, British banks are lagging behind their European counterparts.

Britain has only four banks that provide online banking facilities, compared to Germany's 17. The percentage of Britons banking online is also less than in other developed countries.

(Internet Magazine, Britain; September 23, 1998)

AdForce Extends Centralised Ad Serving Capability To European Markets
Along with European partner Euroserve, AdForce--provider of the AdForce centralised online ad management service--launched Europe's largest centralised pan-European ad-serving data center.

The new data center, located in Frankfurt, Germany, is based on AdForce's proprietary centralised ad management technology. It allows both European and U.S.-based Web sites and advertisers to more effectively reach European users and deliver pan-European ad campaigns extremely fast and efficiently.

(Web Vision, India; September 28, 1998)

Report: Australia Has Not Tapped Enough Into Internet Market, Even In Asia
The newly established Australian E-commerce Business Network (AeBN) released a report outlining Australia's position in the world electronic business market.

It highlights problems faced by Australian SMEs at risk of being swallowed up in the e-commerce process by the North American and European trade blocs. It also notes that whatever economic problems exist in Asia, Australia had not anchored itself to an Asian market.

(The Australian; September 22, 1998)

Malaysian Businesses Urged To Tap Regional Customer Base Via E-Commerce
Malaysian businesses that intend to engage in e-commerce should be externally focused and target a larger regional audience for their products and services, according to Netscape Communications vice-president Keng Lim.

"Many companies are stuck in traditional business thinking and fail to realise that in e-commerce, the customer base can increase phenomenally in a very short period of time," he said, pointing to Amazon.com as an example of a company whose customer base grew to millions in just three years.

(The Star, Malaysia; September 22, 1998)

IDC Report: Europe Faces Skills Shortage For Internet Age
Western Europe is facing a growing shortage of workers with information technology skills, a situation that could lead to exorbitant prices and deferred projects, according to a study by industry research firm IDC.

While European companies are embracing Internet-based technology to boost their competitiveness, they are paying scant attention to the training needed by the employees who implement it. The skills gap will leave the equivalent of around 510,000 full-time jobs unfilled at the end of 1998, a figure that could grow to 1.6 million by 2002.

(Reuters news agency; September 22, 1998)

Excite Plans Singapore Portal In February, New Zealand Portal In March
Excite signed a AUS$28 million deal with Australian media company LibertyOne that should see a New Zealand portal on the Web by March next year.

Australian company LibertyOne, affiliated to Fairfax Press, is in a 50:50 partnership with Excite that aims to customise Excite's Web service for 11 countries in the Asia Pacific region. Singapore will have its own Excite service online by February. New Zealand follows in March.

(InfoTech Weekly, New Zealand; September 21, 1998)

Indian ISPs Team Up To Create Association For Regulation, Promotion Of Net
The e-mail and Internet Service Providers Association of India has been rechristened as the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI), during its annual general meeting held in Mussorie.

The association aims to act as a bridge between the customers and the policy regulatory authorities and other incumbent operators. The president will be R. Ramaraj, director of Satyam Infoway, and the chairman will be R. Arora, chairman of Datapro.

ISPAI will work along with the Department of Telecommunciations, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, and the National InfoTech Task Force.

(Economic Times, India; September 17, 1998)

Arab Business Network Launches Web Site
The Arab Business Network, developed by Business Optimisation Consultants (BOC), launched a Web site with links to leading businesses in the Middle East, and other information resources. BOC is a regional Internet and intranet consultancy with offices in Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the UAE. BOC is also a Netscape affiliate.

(The Star, Jordan; September 17, 1998)

China To Play Large Role In Cisco's Market Expansion
John Chambers, president and CEO of Cisco Systems, said adoption of IP-based multi-service telecom products is expected to be rapid in China.

Cisco launched several initiatives to promote technology exchange between China and the U.S. Cisco established a Beijing representative office in 1994 and has since opened branch offices in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu.

Cisco also supplied advanced IP infrastructure equipment to China Telecom for the construction of ChinaNet, China's Internet backbone, the China Multimedia Network, and ATM+IP switching equipment to major telecommunications users such as China Financial Network, Henan PTA and Guangxi PTA.

(USA Today, September 23; Web Vision, India, September 28, 1998)

International News, Ads Part Of Newsweek Plan For Online Edition
Newsweek.com, the long-awaited Web incarnation of the weekly newsmagazine, will launch on October 4th with a site emphasising breaking news, chatty infobites, image galleries, and international coverage from Newsweek's Asian and European print editions.

Newsweek.com has Compaq as an advertiser; it is also courting others who are especially interested in targeting high-end, English-speaking readers in countries outside the U.S. who will be drawn to the international coverage.

(Wired magazine; September 24, 1998)