The largest-ever leak of the personal information of credit card holders has reportedly affected the market share of web browsers in Korea.
According to data on web browsers for PCs released by market research firm Statcounter on January 22, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) captured more than 80% of the local market from January 17 to 19 for the first time.
IE has maintained the top spot in the local web browser rankings so far, but its market share never exceeded 80% last year. Although it surpassed 80% on January 6, 10, and 11 in 2014, this is the first time for Microsoft’s browser to represent over 80% for three consecutive days.
In contrast, Google Chrome, which had more than 20% market share at several points last year, saw its market share decline to 16.4% during the same period.
Industry analysts are saying that the phenomenon is related to year-end tax adjustments and the recent massive leak of the personal information of credit card users of major Korean banks. Tax settlements, users checking their personal credit card information, or the cancellation and re-issuance of credit cards in Korea can only be done using IE.
In fact, IE recorded 81.12% in market share on January 17 this year, when credit card companies began to run a system to check credit card data leaks. The number is the highest-ever since November 2012. On January 18, when the system started to be fully operated, its market share edged up 81.59%.
An industry source said, “I think that IE has gradually increased its market share starting early this year, because the year-end tax adjustment can be done only through the web browser.” The source added, “In particular, an increase in IE’s market share is presumably due to the fact that the web browser is the only one where credit card holders can use services related to the recent leak of personal information.”