B2B trading is liberated from ActiveX system

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B2B trading is liberated from ActiveX system

The government’s attempt to wean Korean cyberspace off ActiveX and Internet Explorer reaches a milestone today.

A new ActiveX-free authentication certification system launches today, making transactions easier for business-to-business (B2B) buyers in Korea, the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) said on Monday. KTNET, an IT affiliate of KITA specialized in developing trading platforms, developed the new platform for payments and shipping in local B2B transactions.

“Many said Korea’s online payment technologies developed like in the Galapagos Islands, in a way that our Internet technologies were advanced but not universally compatible,” said Kim Chae-mi, head of the authentication certification department at KTNET. “But with KTNET’s new system, which is closer to international technological standards, most B2B companies in Korea will benefit, from large conglomerates like Samsung and LG Electronics to small materials suppliers.”

The system works with a variety of web browsers, including Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Microsoft Windows 10’s Edge web browser.

The platform will immediately be used on B2B e-commerce systems among some 100,000 Korean companies, including the supply chain management of Lotte Group’s retail divisions and most small and midsize exporters that are KITA member companies.

ActiveX controls refer to an authentication certification system 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 websites - 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.

President Park Geun-hye ordered the elimination of ActiveX authentication certificates, saying the complicated Internet payment system hinders shoppers abroad from purchasing goods on Korean Internet shopping malls.

The government spent 1.3 billion won ($1.1 million) on ActiveX-free authentication systems for 90 percent of the nation’s 100 most-visited websites.

BY KIM JI-YOON [kim.jiyoon@joongang.co.kr]
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