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Press Release

Most U.S. Companies Missing International eCommerce Explosion: Next Six to 24 Months Seen as Critical

San Francisco, California, May 22, 2000 - The United States is rapidly losing its dominance in Internet usage and eCommerce, according to a comprehensive new report released today by IDC, a leading advisory firm on ebusiness and technology.

The World is quickly moving away from a U.S.-centric, English speaking Web, reports IDC in its new study, "Web Site Globalization: The Next Imperative for the Internet 2.0 Era." Total Internet users worldwide will reach 602 million in three years, with the percentage of American users dropping from one-half in 1998 to one-third in 2003. The next 6-24 months are critical, according to IDC, for corporations to build strong footholds in foreign markets through effective Web globalization strategies.

U.S. companies are missing the international eCommerce explosion, according to the report, with the overwhelming majority (70 percent) drawing less than 10 percent of their eCommerce revenues from overseas.

Sponsored by Web globalization industry leader eTranslate, Inc. (, the report forecasts that worldwide B2B purchases will ignite the Internet, jumping to $1.4 trillion in 2003 from $107.7 billion in 1999- a 1300 percent increase. Western Europe will surge past America for global eCommerce revenues at more than double the U.S. growth rate

"Now is the time to gain competitive advantage globally,&quot said Barry Parr, IDC's Director of Consumer eCommerce Advisory Research and author of the report. "With more than half the potential market outside the U.S., companies failing to expand internationally are leaving one-half their potential revenue on the table."

"While the U.S. has been the leader in Internet and eCommerce development, American companies are in danger of falling behind," said Charlie Baxter, CEO of eTranslate. "To succeed internationally, U.S. businesses have to approach each foreign market individually; not only offering their Web sites in the local language, but incorporating local cultural distinctions which are equally important.

"Making the investment today offers a significant Return on Globalization tomorrow," Baxter added.

Findings in the study, include:

Internet spending outside the U.S. will surge to $913 billion, two-thirds of the projected $1.64 trillion worldwide 2003 eCommerce total. While the percentage of U.S. eCommerce revenue continues to drop, Western Europe and Japan's share will rise substantially - from 29 to 47 percent between 1999 and 2003 - to a total of $764 billion. In three years, one third of all Internet users will prefer using a language other than English. By regions, 84 percent of Japanese users prefer operating in a language other than English. For Latin America and Western Europe, those percentages are 75 and 52 percent, respectively. The fastest Internet user growth is in the Asia-Pacific region, where it will triple to 75.6 million from 19.7 million between 1999 and 2003. Northernmost Western European countries, such as Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, currently have the highest online penetration rates of more than thirty percent, closely mirroring that of the U.S. Southernmost Western European countries such as Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal have the lowest penetration rate, typically less than 10 percent.

While Internet penetration in Western Europe today lags behind the U.S., European businesses are better positioned than their American counterparts to leverage trans-border commercial success and exploit the eCommerce boom there, according to the report. Those that succeed have customized business strategies to win market share.

"Those that move on Web globalization now will win the international eCommerce race," said IDC author Parr. "This first-to-market advantage has long-term pay-offs as overseas markets continue to grow."

Successful strategies by Cisco, Kodak, Dell Computers, Charles Schwab and other companies are described in the report.

The full white paper report can be found at IDC Global (PDF)

About International Data Corporation International Data Corporation delivers accurate, relevant, and high-impact data and insight on information technology to help organizations make sound business and technology decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide IT markets and adoption and technology trends, and analyzes IT products and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC is committed to providing global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in more than 40 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, and the financial community. Additional information on IDC can be found on its Web site at IDC is a division of International Data Group, the world's leading IT media, research, and exposition company.

About eTranslate eTranslate is a complete solutions provider that helps companies build international leadership and global communications reach using digital-based technology and a worldwide network of technical, linguistic and cultural professionals. Raising the standards of the Web globalization industry, eTranslate works seamlessly with companies to translate their Internet business model into global markets.

eTranslate GlobalWeb solutions provide customized Web services including globalization consulting, technical integration, software engineering, professional language translation, and dynamic content management. eTranslate GlobalWebä is supported by one of the largest proprietary networks of language professionals in the world. eTranslate, Inc. is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in Berlin, New York, Paris, Santiago, São Paulo, and Tokyo. More information can be found at

Editor's Note: A full replay of the IDC State of International eCommerce and Web Globalization media briefing call is available for 24 hours at the following number:

Playback: 1-800-252-6030
Access # 6264510

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