News / Asia

Vietnam Examines Policy on Chat Apps, Ban Possible

FILE - Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung gives the keynote address at the 12th International Institute for Strategic Studies Asia Security Summit, Singapore, May 31, 2013. FILE - Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung gives the keynote address at the 12th International Institute for Strategic Studies Asia Security Summit, Singapore, May 31, 2013.
x
FILE - Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung gives the keynote address at the 12th International Institute for Strategic Studies Asia Security Summit, Singapore, May 31, 2013.
FILE - Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung gives the keynote address at the 12th International Institute for Strategic Studies Asia Security Summit, Singapore, May 31, 2013.
Reuters
— Vietnam's government is to decide policy in managing free internet-based telecom tools like Viber, Line and Whatsapp, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said on Friday, a move bound to increase concerns about Communist Party censorship.
 
State media said the government might “ban” free messaging services because of the harm done to network providers.
 
Vietnam has repeatedly come under fire for curbs on free speech and harsh treatment for bloggers who dare to criticize the one-party regime.
 
The prime minister said the government would “build and promulgate the policies” in managing the free communication services on the internet (Over-The-Top (OTT) services.)”
 
Like many other confusing regulations, it didn't explain clearly what the government plans to do. But state media said it might “ban” all OTT services.
 
“We will lose 40-50 percent of our revenue if all of our 40 million customers use Viber instead of traditional call and text,” a representative of Viettel Telecom, one of the country's biggest phone network providers, told state media.
 
Vietnam has 17 million smart phone users, according to a report from Google. The demand for communications is huge with 60 million people under the age of 30.
 
Jong Buhm Park, Chief Executive Officer of NHN Vietnam, the developer of Japan's Line app, said a ban would not happen.
 
“The government has more options, like cooperation between OTT and network providers,” Park told Reuters.
 
The prime minister's statement comes two weeks after the government ordered all foreign websites, including Facebook, to have at least one server hosted in Vietnam.
 
“This looks like an additional step from the government to censor internet users,” said a diplomat who requested anonymity. “Once it can't control them, it will block everything,”
 
Saudi Arabia in June banned Viber, which is hard for the state to monitor and deprives licensed telecom companies of revenue from international calls and texts.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Invictus
August 23, 2013 3:25 PM
Typical policy from outdated communist regime. Vietnam will be at a competitive disadvantage if it keeps its own population in ignorance. No one ever gave consent for the government to carry out policies against the public good of the people. Dictatorships of any form will only hinder not help a country in the information age.


by: Doug from: Canada
August 21, 2013 10:51 AM
Typical communist police state regime policy.The commie leaders in Hanol are afraid of letting in more freedom for they know it would mean the end of their brutal supression of the Vietnmese people who yearn for freedom and democracy.


by: Igor from: Russia
August 21, 2013 1:00 AM
If the government was to banned Viber,Line...It would be a big setback for Vietnamese people in comparision to other peoples because they would not enjoy the benefits of such free services.

In Response

by: NMK from: VietName
August 22, 2013 1:32 AM
The VietNam's government just had a meeting to find the way to manage and regulate the internet-based telecom tools, Not "ban".. Because we don't have the law to manage this services. Recently, China used free WECHAT as propaganda tool for political purposes.Vietname is freedom nation, we always respect citizens benefits, but we strongly protect our territory and national benefits.. We are in the developing way... All of our friends are welcome.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid