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charlesarthur : southkorea   5

Xiaomi expansion into South Korea heaping pressure on Samsung • Digitimes
Colley Hwang:
<p>China-based Xiaomi launched its latest smartphones including the flagship Hongmi Note 5, in Seoul, South Korea, priced KRW200,000-300,000 (US$190-285), in cooperation with local telecom carriers SK Telecom and Korea Telecom. Their competitive pricing of less than US$300, far below Korea-based vendors' smartphone ASP of over US$500 in 2017, has quickly caught much attention in the Korea market.

Xiaomi's operating profits have always been below 5%, but the slim-profit strategy is also the China-based smartphone vendor's strongest weapon in its foray into new territories. Xiaomi has already outraced Samsung Electronics in India's smartphone market and is now looking to challenge the Korea giant on its home turf.

Currently, Samsung is the largest smartphone vendor in South Korea with a 55% share, followed by Apple at 28.3% and LG Electronics at 15.7%. The three handset vendors together already account for 99% of the market, leaving almost no room for any other players.

To nudge its way through the barriers, Xiaomi has introduced Hongmi Note 5, featuring a 5.99-inch screen, 12-megapixel back-end and 5-megapixel front-end cameras, and artificial intelligence (AI) support, priced at KRW299,000; it has been a star in Xiaomi's winning lineup for the race in India. Although Xiaomi has not revealed the number of its smartphone pre-orders from South Korea, sources from local channels have reported positive feedbacks from consumers.</p>

Which demonstrates that substitution - cheaper as-good hardware for another - is a continual risk for Android handset makers, even in their own back yard. That Apple has such a huge share - comparable with the UK (as is the <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/467171/forecast-of-smartphone-users-in-south-korea/">size of the South Korean smartphone market</a>) - is remarkable, though.
apple  xiaomi  samsung  southkorea  smartphone 
july 2018 by charlesarthur
South Korea's crypto craze explained by Seoul's largest investor • Crypto Ambit
Mr Crypto Ambit:
<p>I asked Simon [Seojoon Kim, CEO of Hashed] if he thought there was any possibility that the government would move forward with a ban in the future. He thinks that in the future, the government will be stewards of the crypto-economy as opposed to adversaries of it; his logic seems solid. 

Whether the government likes it or not, Korea is already heavily invested in cryptocurrencies and there's nothing anyone can do to change that. It's also impossible to ignore the fact that Koreans have prospered more from the cryptocurrency boom than any other nation in the world. At the same time, given their level of exposure, they would be disproportionately affected by a major market downturn. Basically, the only thing the government can do is support the growth of the cryptocurrency market because a healthy market is good for South Koreans.

If America or China banned trading, only a small percentage of their populations would be affected. A Korean ban would create widespread panic and could cause systemic damage to the Korean economy. Not to mention that South Korea is a democracy, so any politician that takes an anti-cryptocurrency stance is likely to find themselves without a job come election time.</p>

South Korea’s government long ago banned gambling - so it found an outlet in buying cryptocurrency (especially bitcoin), and now about 30% of South Koreans own some, compared to perhaps 1% in the US or China. That makes them, and the economy, very vulnerable to shifts in value. If I were a North Korean leader I’d be looking to hammer bitcoin’s price at the appropriate time with a giant selloff.
bitcoin  cryptocurrency  southkorea 
february 2018 by charlesarthur
South Korea says no plans to ban cryptocurrency exchanges, uncovers $600m of illegal trades • Reuters
Dahee Kim and Cynthia Kim:
<p>South Korea has been at the forefront of pushing for broad regulatory oversight of cryptocurrency trading as many locals, including students and housewives, jumped into a frenzied market despite warnings from policy makers around the world of a bubble.

Seoul previously said that it is considering shutting down local cryptocurrency exchanges, which threw the market into turmoil and hammered bitcoin prices. Officials later clarified that an outright ban is only one of the steps being considered, and a final decision was yet to be made.

Customs said about 637.5bn won ($596.02m) worth of foreign exchange crimes were detected.

Illegal foreign currency trading of 472.3bn won formed the bulk of the cryptocurrency crimes, it said in a statement, but gave no details on what action authorities were taking against the rule breaches.

In one case, an illegal FX agency collected a total of 1.7bn won ($1.59m) from local residents in a form of “electric wallet” coins to transfer it to a partner agent abroad. The partner agent then cashed them out and distributed the settlement to clients based in that country, according to the statement.</p>

South Korea is going to get hurt when this goes south, as it inevitably must - it’s still on a par with trading cowrie shells, which is fine as long as nobody asks “why are we trading cowrie shells, especially as we keep getting ripped off?”
Cryptocurrency  southkorea 
january 2018 by charlesarthur
Video: Seoul taps citizens for ambitious solar power goal • Tech in Asia
Here's the transcript (via Steven Millward):
<p>South Korea is building a “solar city.” In Seoul, mini solar panels are installed on apartment balconies. One can produce enough energy to run a fridge, which means lower electricity bills.

Goal: 1 million households with mini solar panels.

Target: Seoul’s citizens will produce 1 gigawatt of power by 2022. That’s about the same as one nuclear reactor</p>


It doesn't look particularly pretty, but you have to admire the determination.
solar  southkorea  seoul 
december 2017 by charlesarthur
Apple’s iPhone finds more fans on Samsung’s home turf » MarketWatch
<a href="http://twitter.com/jbooton">Jennifer Booton</a> notes that the iPhone has hit a 14% sales share in South Korea over the summer:
<p>Samsung was able to recoup some of the losses incurred from Apple by going after the smaller manufacturers, such as LG Electronics and Pantech. LG’s share slid to 22% from 29%, while Pantech’s nose-dived from 4% to 1%, according to the Counterpoint research. Apple’s influence is having an effect, though.</p> <p>“Samsung still has a loyal following in Korea,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager at industry tracker IDC. “But Apple is certainly making a run.”</p><p>Apple’s share in South Korea, where users have long been accustomed to the Samsung Galaxy Note phablets and other larger-screen Galaxy phones, has been gaining ever since the launch of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, <a href="http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2014/09/09/apple-event-live-coverage-follow-expected-launch-of-iphone-6-iwatch/" target="_new" class="icon " >Apple’s first large-screen iPhone</a>, Kang said. Its share gain was most prominent right after the iPhone 6 Plus launched, growing sevenfold in the fourth quarter of 2014. </p><p>While the growth rate has since slowed, Kang said he believes there’s still room for Apple to grow there as the “iPhone ecosystem effect” — the idea that Apple’s interconnected operating systems and devices keep users within the Apple brand — begins to take hold. </p><p>“Mature smartphone users (mostly Android) have started to upgrade to Apple iPhones,” he said. </p>
iphone  samsung  southkorea 
october 2015 by charlesarthur

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