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S. Koreans overwhelmingly approve scrapping of ActiveX: poll

2014/03/23 11:00

SEOUL, March 23 (Yonhap) -- South Koreans overwhelmingly approve the scrapping of the ActiveX framework citing it as a hindrance to online transactions, a poll conducted by the lobbying group for the country's large conglomerates said Sunday.

According to a survey carried out on 700 people nationwide, 78.6 percent of respondents said they wanted ActiveX software to be discontinued and replaced by a more up-to-date support system that is not so restrictive.

The Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) said of those polled, 88 percent said they experienced some sort of difficulties because of ActiveX.

ActiveX is a software framework that defines reusable software components in programming language and has become an integral part of the country's Internet landscape.

Because it is a non-standard software, it sometimes has trouble interacting with different browsers and is not really appropriate for mobile platforms. In particular, the system requires users to submit authentication certificates issued by local authorities that effectively makes it impossible for foreigners to buy products online from South Korean shopping malls.

Going into details, the federation said 79.1 percent complained the framework made it a hassle to purchase products online, with 71.7 percent saying it affected bank transactions.

Other complaints mentioned include trouble signing into Internet sites and portals, and to a lesser extent access to foreign online sites.

"This is the reason why that despite South Korea's advanced information technology infrastructure, the proportion of its online shopping sector compared to its GDP, is much smaller than the United States, Japan and China," the federation claimed.

Data by the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade showed the size of South Korea's online shopping sector standing at around 2.91 trillion won (US$2.69 billion) or 0.24 percent of its GDP. In contrast, numbers for the United States stood at 1.24 percent of its GDP, with figures rising to 1.68 percent in the case of China.

The FKI then said of those polled, most wanted ActiveX scrapped outright, with only 6.7 percent wanting to hold onto the framework.

It added 84.1 percent of all people wanted the development of a new software that can take the place of ActiveX, so they can conduct online transactions more easily without worrying about security issues.

The lobbying organization then argued that if ActiveX is scrapped, such a move can help South Korea reduce its 720 billion won deficit in its international e-commerce field and breathe new life into the domestic online market place that could attract more buyers at home and abroad.