Science Ministry plans solution to ActiveX

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Science Ministry plans solution to ActiveX

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning is set to provide financial aid for 100 major private websites to introduce a standardized web solution to get away from the problematic ActiveX plug-in that has long impeded easy access to online shopping.

ActiveX Controls refers to technical standards developed by Microsoft for Internet Explorer. The plug-in was developed in 1996 to extend Internet Explorer into a variety of areas, ranging from graphics to multimedia and online shopping. It can be automatically or optionally downloaded and executed by a web browser.

Korea uses ActiveX nine times more than other countries - based on an analysis of the top 100 private Web sites - and 66 percent of e-commerce-related security, authentications and payments rely on ActiveX.

Internet Explorer is still the nation’s most popular web browser, relied on by the government, financial institutions and shopping sites.

“The private sector has perceived the necessity to move away from ActiveX but the actual improvements have yet to be made due to the costs of introducing new technologies,” said the ministry in a statement.

The first of four measures the ministry unveiled is to financially assist private Web sites in the top 100 by traffic to adopt new web solutions. The ministry will provide up to 100 million won ($90,600) to each site and 20 million won per solution.

Second, the ministry will earmark 3.6 billion won, or half the cost that private developers need to develop 48 solutions to replace ActiveX in electronic documents, multimedia, security and payment sectors by 2017. The government fund will be limited to 100 million won per developer.

The government will also designate websites representing various sectors and encourage them to replace ActiveX with the more-advanced HTML5 core technology markup language completed last October.

Following the measures, the ministry expects 90 percent of the top 100 private websites to be free of ActiveX.

The Wednesday measure from the ICT Ministry came a year after President Park Geun-hye ordered elimination of ActiveX and authentication certificates, saying the complicated Internet payment system hinders shoppers abroad from purchasing goods on Korean Internet shopping malls. The president referred to the so-called “Chun Song-yi” coat, an outfit that popular Korean actress Jun Ji-hyun was seen wearing in the megahit soap opera “My Love from the Star” that ran between late 2013 and early 2014.

It became popular, but foreigners had trouble buying it on Korean sites because they tend not to use Internet Explorer.


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