South Korea racing ahead of West in IT capability

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Silicon Valley, California, watch out!

Your counterpart in South East Asia, a tiny peninsular country named South Korea, might just be overtaking you in terms of production capability of IT/ITeS technology, going by the products released in the world marketplace.

The country’s IT industry has already been ranked as the fastest growing of its kind and the ‘most innovative’ economy by Bloomberg. The ranking was just as high in the international surveys that reckoned South Korea’s R&D activity, value-added manufacture and patent activity achievements.

The country’s per capita consumption of internet and broadband services also ranks as the highest in the world, says the study. A high-voltage industrial hub of IT innovation and research, South Korea is already a strong contender in competing with the world’s finest knowhow-based smart phone manufacture – even racing ahead of the position held by the industry leader Apple, in this segment.

The dynamic progress of IT/ITeS knowhow is largely considered as the 4th industrial revolution to have influenced mankind, in the recent centuries and the pace of this growth is spearheaded by the amazing results achieved in the sphere of digitization, artificial intelligence, robotics, increased connectivity, and autonomous vehicles.

South Korea has already shown her ability to dominate in all these areas of industrial output.

The latest smart phone knowhow behind Samsung Galaxy G8, with its voice recognition feature, is one such example where AI has been intensely applied in the product design. Or, take digital banking. S Korea has already put in place a vast range of products that enable banking services to be highly automated for the convenience and security of the consumer.

Against all this good tidings, there looms in the horizon of South Korea’s electronics horizon, the shadow of its monopolistic stance by a vortex of family-owned industrial giants.

This challenge makes the entry and growth of the start-ups tough and challenging in the sector. The combined annual revenue earnings by the top 5 family-owned IT/ITeS conglomerates in S Korea totals to 50% of the country’s GDP, as of statistics received in 2015.

The Davids of this world of technology, still survive and strive to take-on the Goilaths in this battlefield, and the mobile phone manufacturer, Yello Mobile, is indeed an example.

The Korean government, with its new Head of State, Moon Jae In, aims to remove the monopolistic hurdles and is welcoming outsiders to participate in the industrial growth – the foreign investors have been given new assurances of relaxed regulations to promote their investments here.

But one thing is very clear: any investor landing up in this country of origin of the fastest innovations and tech breakthroughs, will find the going tough to keep pace and will have to work twice as hard to match the rate at which their knowhow must evolve, to give others a run for their money.

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