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| Web Brings Sweeping Change to Asia, Ellison Says at Info Summit
November 24, 1998 (SAN FRANCISCO) -- The Internet is bringing sweeping
change to Asian countries, said Larry Ellison, chairman and CEO of Oracle
Corp., at the Asia-Pacific Information Technology Summit held in Santa
|Ellison noted that companies in Korea and Taiwan are among those that
are well-positioned to offer less-expensive Internet computers for accessing
the Web. Dissemination of such less-expensive devices for Web access
means that the population base of users can expand at a brisk pace.
That's because many people in Asia cannot afford to pay much for the
tools to link to the Internet or for access.
He asserted that in an ideal world, Internet access would be nearly universal
and that everyone would have access. However, Ellison noted that not
even the telephone enjoys that degree of success.
"Still, if countries do not participate in e-commerce, they will lose
opportunities," Ellison said.
The Internet provides an alternative to the Microsoft model, Ellison
noted. He explained that complexity in the form of operating systems
and applications programs could instead be put on centralized servers
and taken off of the end-user terminals. Because such terminals will
be inexpensive, they will help spread Internet access.
The Web can serve as a tool that centralizes complexity and renders retrieving
information or engaging in e-commerce a relatively simple experience,
"The Internet will make education much more accessible across Asia,"
said the CEO of the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based database software giant.
Oracle is a pivotal high-tech company in the northern part of the Silicon
Valley. In fact, it is by far the largest software enterprise in the
San Francisco Bay Area.
Other speakers at the Asia-Pacific Information Technology Summit discussed
national efforts to assemble critical masses of high-tech intellectual
power at centers similar to the Silicon Valley.
The Hsinchu science park near Taipei is now responsible for an eighth
of Taiwan's entire industrial output, said G.J. Hu, vice president of
the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI).
Hu noted that Hsinchu has a number of attributes that makes it attractive
and effective. Hsinchu maintains close links to the Silicon Valley;
it hosts national research laboratories that transfer technology to
small companies; it is strongly supported by the government; and it
possesses a pool of engineering talent from nearby universities from
which to draw.
The dominant product at Hsinchu is that of microchips, followed by computers
and peripheral equipment in second place, and telecommunications gear
Hsinchu is the most successful high-tech industrial park in the Asia-Pacific
region, said Chong-Moon Lee, founder of Diamond Multimedia Systems Inc.
Lee warned that other Asian efforts to mimic the Silicon Valley are unlikely
to be as effective as Hsinchu, because their cultures may not be as
conducive to the entrepreneurial spirit.
Jinkoo Seo, CEO of Media Valley Inc., said that Korea is building an
industrial park at Inchon, about 40km from Seoul. The Media Valley high-tech
center is expected to support about 35,000 people working there in 2005,
in R&D; facilities, corporate offices and production facilities.
However, Oracle's Ellison noted that a new paradigm is arising: that
of e-commerce, in which geographic location is becoming increasingly
By building and expanding high-tech centers like the Media Valley in
Korea or a number of similar parks in China, urban planners may be losing
sight of the fact that the Internet is rendering physical centers less
(Neil Davis, Asia BizTech Correspondent)
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