South Koreans are among the most wired in the world. I see this as combination of strong government support of IT infrastructure development and many Koreans fascination with technology--techno lust. Even at the recent North-South Korean summit, Kim Jong-Il called himself an Internet Expert and lauded his skills at surfing the Web.
Korea Times notes...some stats
South Korea leads the world in home Internet connectivity with over eight in 10 households having Internet connections and almost nine out of 10 people accessing the Web at least once a week, a report from a media research company showed.
According to a survey of 50 nations by AC Nielson, an advertising consultancy firm, 88 percent of people surveyed in South Korea said that they have at least one computer at home, which was the highest rate in the world. Hong Kong (84 percent), Taiwan (81 percent), Singapore (77 percent) and the United States (77 percent) followed in the rankings.
The study also said that South Koreans are extraordinarily eager about surfing the Web, with four out of five people saying they had logged on the network at least once in the past seven days. The proportion, 80 percent, was far higher than other Internet-friendly countries such as New Zealand (66 percent), Australia (65 percent), Britain (60 percent) and the United States (59 percent).
South Koreans are fascinated by new technologies. The high Internet penetration is mainly fueled by e-commerce activity and broadband demand, said Shin Eun-hee, president of AC Nielson Korea. The government also plays an important role in the nation's digitalization process by continuing to upgrade information infrastructure, and it is encouraging the private sector to create a high-tech logistics and payment infrastructure for business-to-business networks.
The AC Nielson survey, published this summer, showed similar results to the government's report on the same matter.
According to the Ministry of Information and Communication's statistics, 80 percent of Korean households said they have a personal computer, and 79 percent said they have Internet connections as of June. Around 75 percent of those over the age of six said they regularly use the Internet, up by 2 percentage points from a year ago. On average, they stay online for 13.7 hours per week to read news articles, play online games, chat with friends, or shop online.
While Korea was leading other countries on the consumer side of the Internet use, Taiwan was an outstanding player in utilizing the new media in advertising business, the Nielson report said.
Four of the top 10 brands for Internet-related advertising in the Asia-Pacific region were Taiwanese firms, it showed. Ranked fifth, Korea Telecom (KT) was the lone Korean firm in the top 10 list for spending $22 million in promoting its services on the Internet in 2006.
Competition is what drives demand for advertising. Computers, IT and the Internet are no doubt vibrant sectors in Taiwan and China, Shin said.