Vietnam prepares ban on chat apps

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viet_smartphoneThe Vietnamese government is currently looking into the possibility of banning free messaging services such as WhatsApp, Line and Viber because of “the harm they do to the country’s network providers,” local media reported.

The news came after Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said that the government will soon be deciding on a new policy on how to manage these tools. What that means is so far unclear, but a ban certainly would not be out of the question.

“We will lose 40-50 per cent 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, was quoted as saying.

The company that Vietnam providers are most likely worried about is Line, the Asian mobile messaging platform that recently reached 200 million users. Line is a smartphone app that allows users to make free calls and messages to one another, both nationally and internationally, regardless of which mobile network provider they are using. Users can make  free voice calls on iOS, Windows Phone, Android and Nokia Asha over 3G, 4G and WiFi.

WhatsApp, an ad-free mobile messaging app, has over 300 million active users, and 325 million photos shared each day. And Viber reached 200 million users in May.

Vietnam currently has 17 million smart phone users.

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.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Vietnamese government is currently looking into the possibility of banning free messaging services such as WhatsApp, Line and Viber because of “the harm they do to the country’s network providers,” local media reported.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

viet_smartphoneThe Vietnamese government is currently looking into the possibility of banning free messaging services such as WhatsApp, Line and Viber because of “the harm they do to the country’s network providers,” local media reported.

The news came after Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said that the government will soon be deciding on a new policy on how to manage these tools. What that means is so far unclear, but a ban certainly would not be out of the question.

“We will lose 40-50 per cent 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, was quoted as saying.

The company that Vietnam providers are most likely worried about is Line, the Asian mobile messaging platform that recently reached 200 million users. Line is a smartphone app that allows users to make free calls and messages to one another, both nationally and internationally, regardless of which mobile network provider they are using. Users can make  free voice calls on iOS, Windows Phone, Android and Nokia Asha over 3G, 4G and WiFi.

WhatsApp, an ad-free mobile messaging app, has over 300 million active users, and 325 million photos shared each day. And Viber reached 200 million users in May.

Vietnam currently has 17 million smart phone users.

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.

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