VietNamNet Bridge – The State has been urged to apply reasonable policies to
encourage the development of the domestic digital content industry – the sector
that can bring high added value to Vietnam.
Since 2010, VNG, VTC and some other digital content firms have been designing
and making digital content products for domestic use and export. They were just
at the start of their career of making games on personal computers (PC) and met
so many difficulties.
However, while they were still trying to cope with the big difficulties, the
smart phone and smart TV wave rushed down so rapidly. All the enterprises in the
digital content industry have made a quick decision of reducing the development
of the services on PC and shifting to developing services for mobile and smart
Phan Sao Nam, President of VTC Online, said VTC Online has decided to stop some
half-finished projects on designing products for PC and begin implementing the
products for mobile phones.
Meanwhile, Go.vn, the social network, has begun designing the apps of listening
music, watching films, and chatting on mobile phone.
Nam said that the mobile and smart TV wave is the big challenge for all digital
content firms and telcos, because mobile phone users would mainly use digital
“If telcos don’t become open and don’t cooperate well with digital content
firms, all of us would stay hungry,” Nam said. “If we cannot join forces to
develop our services, the digital content market would fall into the hands of
foreign firms. If so, there would be nothing left for us to eat.”
Vietnamese VTC and VNG now have to compete fiercely with global enterprises such
as Facebook, Google or Apple, already. In terms of social network, it seems that
domestic firms have yielded. No Vietnamese social network can defeat Facebook,
the giant with 10 million users in Vietnam.
In the market segment of digital content for mobile phones, Google, Yahoo and
Facebook all have made big leaps to conquer the global market, while Vietnamese
businesses are still at their early stage of development.
As such, Vietnam’s digital content industry needs a strong push to develop. The
“strong push” here is understood as the encouragement by the State.
Duong The Luong, Director of VTC Intecom, the second biggest digital content
firm to VNG, said digital services, especially online games, are the kind of
risky business because of the short life expectancy of the products. Meanwhile,
online game manufacturers have not been encouraged by the State. The current
tightened policies make it very difficult for game manufacturers to develop new
products. The policies include the procedures for licensing, popularizing
Luong admitted that VTC Intecom has gradually lost its market share in the stiff
competition with foreign strong competitors, saying that it’s difficult to make
new services while the production cost keeps increasing.
Nam has also noted that the State does not support the development of the
digital content industry, while digital content firms do not receive assistance
to both compete with foreign giants right in the home market and export their
In related news, local newspapers have quoted Nguyen Hong Truong, Vice President
of IDG Ventures Vietnam as saying that in 2013, e-commerce, mobile apps, online
services, digital content and software development would be the sectors to
attract most investments in the information technology and communication