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Vietnam plans to create its own Facebook-like social network, say experts

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Facebook remains the social network dominant in Vietnam with 60 million users a month.

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There are 40 million Facebook users in Vietnam


However, a Vietnamese social network similar to Facebook and reserved for Vietnamese has become a hot topic recently. It was again mentioned on Internet Day 2018 organized by the Vietnam Internet Association on November 5.

Vietnam ranks seventh among the biggest Facebook using countries. Facebook is the most commonly used social network in Vietnam (higher than Zalo, a Vietnamese app) with 40 million users.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Minister of Information and Communication Nguyen Manh Hung have stated that Vietnam encourages technology firms to create a social network for Vietnamese.

Arguments were raised about whether Vietnamese can create such a social network for themselves.

The Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) still shows its strong determination to implement the plan.

Le Duy Tien, a member of the MIC’s taskforce on accelerating the development of Vietnam’s digital ecosystem, said Vietnam’s social network is one of the ‘five major pillars’ that the ministry will focus on in the time to come. 

The other four ‘pillars’ are Vietnam’s search engine, Vietnam’s browser, anti-virus software and operating system.

“In principle, Vietnam’s digital ecosystem will be developed and provided by Vietnamese firms and operate in accordance with the market economy’s rules,” Tien said.

Russia is the only country in the world where Facebook ranks second in popularity to a home-made social network, called VK. The social network has 100 million users in Russia.

In China, Facebook holds a very small market share because it is blocked. Chinese firms developed an ecosystem of their own to satisfy people’s demands.

In Vietnam, Facebook and Zalo are the best known. However, according to Tien, Zalo  inclines toward OTT (over the top), a solution that provides content to users based on the Internet, while Facebook is a social network.

“Products similar to Facebook are not available in Vietnam. In other words, Facebook doesn’t have rivals in Vietnam,” Tien explained.

He said that a lot of Vietnamese firms are “nurturing the idea of developing a made-in-Vietnam social network like Facebook” but admitted that “ one is strongly determined to do this”.

According to Tien, every technological product has its own age. Products don’t necessarily have to be like Facebook.

“It may happen that an original idea will attract Vietnamese users and help a Vietnamese social network have the upper hand over Facebook,” Tien said.

Source: VietNamNet

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