Wednesday, December 4, 2013

CNN Listed10 Areas Where Korea Leads the entire World


Twenty-four hour rolling news channel CNN on Thursday listed 10 things that Korea, for better or worse, "pulls off more spectacularly than anywhere else."

The first was Korea's wired culture. "Want to see what the future looks like?" CNN asked. "Book a ticket to the country with a worldwide high 82.7% Internet penetration and where 78.5% of the entire population is on smartphones."

"While they're chatting away on emoticon-ridden messenger apps such as Naver Line or KakaoTalk, [Koreans] also use their smartphones to pay at shops, watch TV (not YouTube but real-time channels) on the subway and scan QR codes at the world's first virtual supermarket."

Koreans' penchant for credit cards is another area where the country stands out. "Koreans became the world's top users of credit cards two years ago, according to data from the Bank of Korea. While Americans made 77.9 credit card transactions per person in 2011 and Canadians made 89.6, [Koreans] made 129.7."

The broadcaster pointed out that it is "technically illegal for any merchant in the country to refuse credit cards, no matter how low the price, and all cabs have credit card machines."

The nation's long working hours also leave the rest of the world behind. "Koreans are so used to studying… they can't get out of the habit once they reach the work force… You can see it in any Korean city, where lights in buildings blaze into the late hours as workers slave away."

According to official government statistics, Koreans work 44.6 hours per week, far longer than the OECD average of 32.8.

Other notable features include the country's heavy drinking culture among the legions of office workers, which CNN calls "business boozing," cosmetics featuring unusual ingredients like fermented soybeans and even snail guts, and an unusually high number of top female pro golfers from Korea.

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