Tuesday, 16 Oct 2018
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ECONOMY

Vietnam minister wants local social networks to compete with Facebook, Google

Updated at Saturday, 08 Sep 2018, 15:53
The Hanoitimes - The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) expects Vietnamese social networks to have the number of users equivalent or higher than that of Facebook in Vietnam (60 million) and take 60 - 70% of the market by 2022.
Standing Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung targeted locally developed social networks to compete the likes of Google and Facebook, local media reported. 
 
Standing Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung. Source: MIC.
Standing Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung. Source: MIC.
The move is in line with Vietnam's targets of becoming a major software exporting country with annual growth rate of 20% and one of the world's leading information and communication (ICT) countries, stated Hung in a meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on September 8. 

According to Hung, revenue from social advertisements in Vietnam reached US$370 million to date, of which, foreign companies hold the majority of market share with Google earning US$135 million and 35 million users, Facebook US$235 million and 60 million users. 

However, foreign social networks have not complied with Vietnamese regulations in terms of taxes, payment method and security issues, among others, Hung stated. 

Meanwhile, with 436 domestic social networks, local enterprises only own a minority part of the total revenue, for which the largest one recorded revenue of only US$7 million with 40 million users. 

The MIC proposed a number of measures to support the development of Vietnamese social networks, aiming to have the number of users equivalent or higher than that of Facebook in Vietnam (60 million) and taking a 60 - 70% market share by 2022. 

Additionally, the MIC also suggested applying both economic and technical solutions to manage foreign social networks. 

Along with the development of domestic social networks, the MIC targets Vietnam to become the world's top 10 in developing digital content ecosystem, and 60 - 70% of the population to use the locally-made ecosystem. 

The MIC, therefore, will be responsible for developing Vietnamese digital ecosystem, including social network, search engine, web browser, operating system, and anti-virus software, with a focus on social network and search engine. 

The development of Vietnamese digital ecosystem will be supported by social resource and local enterprises. 

"Without Vietnamese digital content ecosystem and a local social network, Vietnam will be at a disadvantage in negotiating with Facebook and Google," Hung said. 

With regard to the country's software industry, Vietnam currently has 9,000 enterprises with total revenue of US$3.8 billion, Hung informed. However, the country still lacks leading enterprises. With such a high number of enterprises, Vietnam would need only 10 companies with revenue of billions of USD to transform the industry. 
Ngoc Mai
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