IE: 98.66% of Korean Browser Market

This post at Technokimchi — to be read with this quasi-rant — tells you everything you need to know about the Korean web environment.

I’ve read more than a few foreigners (such as Stafford and Brian) expressing anger at Korea’s ID-login system. Frankly, the sign-in system doesn’t bother me much anymore, since in my experience, Korean websites have gotten much better about accepting Foreigner ID numbers in the “Citizen ID” column.

Not being able to access Korean sites because I use Firefox on Linux (both at home and work), however, irks the living shit out of me. And it happens A LOT.

  • Kdhutta

    With Microsoft dominating the Korean market and web programmers, there’s no room for Firefox, Chrome, etc. Which is a shame.

  • R. Elgin

    The use of Active-X by IE is still a serious security issue that Korea has failed to address. This is why I will never make payments through Korean sites:

  • Darth Babaganoosh

    Then there are sites like GMarket, which won’t allow you to use their site AT ALL unless and until you are using both IE and XP. “You may cause an error if you choose to continue” (paraphrased), then they DON’T ALLOW YOU TO CONTINUE. It kicks you back to the shopping cart.

    So can’t do any shopping at home (Mac, not XP) nor at work (Firefox, not IE).

    I was able to finally get a NateOn ID today (to chat with students). Now ask me if I can actually get logged in.

  • stafford

    Die Active X You son of a Bitch ! Die!

  • parker

    It doesn’t look like it’s going to get any better anytime soon either.

    “Open Web, a Korean web forum led by professor Kichang Kim of Korea University is best known for its fight against rampant use of Active X in Korea, lost a lawsuit against the KFTC (Korea Financial Telecommunication and Clearings Comittee)…

    …Professor Kim’s year-long accusation fell short of convincing the court that the government mandate on the Active X is against fair trade and therefore is illegal. The logic there, Professor Kim claims, was that as the majority of Korean internet users are using the Internet Explorer anyway, not supporting the other browsers is not regarded to have severely deteriorated Korean users’ online experience. But this is perhaps a case of “reverse causality” – i.e. Most Korean internet users are using the IE because of the Active X, in the first place…”

  • KrZ

    3. Try this if you’re using Firefox;

    Reporting your user agent as IE7/Vista gets around many sites.

  • Bipolar Mindscrew NateOn in English actually works quite well. For those using Linux there’s and for Mac OSX there’s – though the non-Windows clients look like Korean-language only…

    I personally have used Pidgin (a multi-messenger client for Windows and *nix) here with the NateOn plugin here … though if you use both the official NateOn and Pidgin, be careful about organizing groups; I’ve had my contact list disappear a few times…

  • stafford

    I lay a challenge for those readers on The Peninsula:

    I’m gonna call it the “Firefox: Tell a Korean” Challenge. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to get one Korean person you know to install Firefox on their computer and then use it for a day, doing their normal day – to – day “tubes” surfing.

    And watch them suffer.

    Bonus points to any readers who can actually provide video of their Korean friends stuck in the endless loop of error messages when trying to buy something off G Market.

    By doing so I hope that a) Your Korean friend will be overcome with joy at the ease of use and technical advantage of using Mozilla’s browser and b) they will be so put off by the rediculous use of Active X in every aspect of the Korean Internet that they will feel compelled to right to the KICC (here’s their website. Funnily enough it doesn’t render properly in Firefox), their local representative and move their banking to the Korea Exchange Bank that, believe it or not, has some semblence of un-Microsoft related Internet Banking.

    Then get your friend to tell one of their friends.

    I’m serious.

    I’ve had enough.

    Really we only need about the population of Seoul (What’s that…? about 20% of the total population) to start kicking up a fuss and then you could say goodbye to Active X.

    Another thing you could do is write to Samsung, LG and Averatec and ask them to install Firefox on their computers before sale.

    Or late at night you could install Firefox (and uninstall IE) on all the computers at your school / place of employment.

    Seriously, all you need to do is tell one person. There’ll be little candle holding Firefox characters outside City Hall before you know it!

  • Robert Koehler

    Wonder how Gwangju’s move to become an “Open Source Software City” is going: