Business in Korea


Internet, Mobile, IT and industry in Korea

Interview Gen Kanai, director of Asia business development, Mozilla Corporation

genGen Kanai is the director of marketing of Mozilla Japan and the director of Asia business development for the Mozilla Corporation.

Can you give us some figures about users of Firefox in both Korea and Japan ?

For Korea, the only information I have is from, which says .65%.  Less than 1%. For Japan, again there is no perfect data but we believe the market share for Firefox in Japan is around 15% (at the end of 2008.)  This comes from an annual survey done by ASCII (a major technology publisher) and is corroborated by our own estimates.

What is the strategy of Mozilla to gain market share in Korea ?

The strategy for Mozilla to gain market share in Korea is similar to the rest of the world.  We rely on our users and word-of-mouth.  In fact, we have a very strong user community in Korea led by Channy Yun who works at Daum Communications. However, because Korea is unique in the world in that Korean websites do not use SSL, and therefore secure transactions cannot be supported on any browser or operating system besides Microsoft’s IE and Windows, we are also supporting the efforts of Dr. Keechang Kim who is trying to use the Korean courts to break the monopoly of the browser in Korea.

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I could read that Law Professor Keechang Kim was filling suits against the government of Korea for not preventig the monopoly of Microsoft especially concerning Internet Explorer, what was the decision of the justice ?

The first decision was denied.  Dr. Kim has appealed and we are awaiting news of the appeal.  I am not sure when to expect the decision- perhaps by this spring?

Is the open web movement growing in Korea or is it still a very low minority of people ?

I would say that it is certainly growing but still has a long way to go.  The vast majority of web pages are designed only for Internet Explorer and of course every site that requires secure transactions uses an Active-X control for that process.

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Can you give us some informations about the next Firefox version?

The next version of Firefox is 3.1, code-name ‘Shiretoko’.

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What about Fennec ?

The big news that was recently announced by Christian Sejersen who is Mozilla’s director of engineering for mobile is that we will have launched a port to Symbian for Fennec.  So now we will be supporting Linux (Maemo at first but others as well), Windows Mobile, and Symbian.  We cannot build Fennec for the iPhone as it would conflict with Apple’s terms and conditions (note that Java, Flash, etc. are also unavailable for the iPhone.)  We do not plan to build Fennec for Android at this time.

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Firefox is obviously the big success of Mozilla, but can you tell us some fresh news about Thunderbird or other applications developped by Mozilla?

Thunderbird is now managed by Mozilla Messaging which is a new entity created solely for the purpose of supporting and developing Thunderbird.  There is a new team and Thunderbird 3 Beta 1 was released in early December 2008 for review and testing. The Rumbling Edge is a great blog that is covering the changes and updates and fixes to Thunderbird.

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