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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

US congressional delegation initiates $84 million Agent Orange cleanup project More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid