Continuously Investing "Digital Assisting" Resources into Rural Areas to Improve Social and Economic lives
Regarding the digital divide in Taiwan, through this research, we found out that the differences of using the Internet between non-rural and rural areas are all about the resources possessed, which means in non-rural areas, it is easier to access the Internet with better quality. However, resources might not be the most significant cause since wireless Internet is now extremely popular (especially mobile Internet), so the Internet use rate has also increased in rural areas. Yet the different preferences show when we review the services used. For example, the non-rural population has a higher rate of using services that would make work and life more convenient. On the other hand, slight differences in recreational contents in non-rural and rural areas. We suggest that we should provide services that meet the needs of the rural population in their daily lives and work, and continuously invest resources into creating new contents to decrease the digital divide and provide equal opportunities. Also, it is important that we could use Internet resources to improve the social and economic lives of those in rural areas. To conclude, we should focus more on providing "digital assistances" to rural areas, emphasizing on how to use the Internet to improve social and economic lives, instead of just providing sufficient Internet access.
COVID-19 is Accelerating Digital Transformation Pace in Taiwan
The industries in Taiwan have great interest and acceptance embracing digitalization, especially after the pandemic outbreaks, a lot of companies are worried about the impact of COVID-19, and are trying to accelerate the pace of digitalization and transit more business interactions onto the web. In other words, it is now the best time for the government to plan digitalization for all industries since the companies are more than willing to cooperate under these circumstances and the Taiwanese people are very opened to embracing new technologies and business models, and the society is highly positive about the development of digital transformation. To sum up, although COVID-19 did not bring severe consequences to the Taiwanese society, the sense of crisis brought to our world, still created the perfect timing to promote digital transformation, and no matter corporations or our government should seize this chance to make it happen.
Main Service Providers That Possess Vertical Integration Power Control the Market However, This Does Not Mean It Necessarily Creates Barriers to Other Corporations.
The E-commerce market in Taiwan is mostly controlled by a few large corporations. These big names have enough power to integrate different resources under one brand to create a team-effect. For small or middle-sized companies or manufacturers, it is much easier to cooperate with e-commerce platforms due to the low barrier to entry and sufficient product exposure for better advertising and to increase sales and popularity. For the consumers, using E-commerce platforms make it easier to see different products, making it much more convenient to make comparisons and come to a decision. It is crucial for small or middle-sized companies to maintain product uniqueness and to add product value. Products that can provide unique value are much more difficult to be replaced and are also easier to target specific consumer groups. According to our research, we concluded that the Internet corporations in Taiwan still have limitations and are still a long way from global platforms such as Amazon. Integration is an ongoing and inevitable trend; however, the platforms in Taiwan do not have to act as a barrier to small or medium-sized companies. In fact, they might even lend a hand to help the development of small and middle-sized businesses.
Focus on the Ability to Acknowledge Fake Information and Cyber Security.
95.6% of Taiwanese population uses communication services, and over 80% are on social media. This indicates that receiving information and news online is now very common in daily lives. Knowledge and information coming from social media means that the opportunity for individuals to speculate and analyze has decreased. Social media selects the feed according to user preferences and only shows the information that the platform selectively guesses what the users want to see, leading to the users now only seeing information from so-called "filter bubbles" and separated from information that disagrees with their viewpoints. What makes it worse is that there is a lot of fake news and false information online, and spreading fast due to eye-catching titles. It is top priority for our government to figure out how to help the users to distinguish truth from false, preventing misleading to the Taiwanese society. It is also crucial that users raise the concerns about their own privacy and learn the knowledge on cyber security to keep them safe. The people are also worried about how the government and enterprises could possibly infringe privacy through online services and skeptical of how they keep and use personal information. Therefore, governmental organizations and enterprises should carefully protect users' personal information. And in the process of collecting personal information, they should avoid over-collecting unnecessary information, which can quell doubts and gain trust from users. It can not only ensure information security but improve people's willingness to use online services.