Disclaimer: all information are sourced from public information.
From 2006 through mid 2009, the hottest web property in Vietnam was the blogging platform Yahoo! 360. The reason was Vietnamese were largely using Yahoo! Messenger as a default online communication tool, and 360 was directly integrated to Messenger.
Out of 4 million global users, 2.5 million were from Vietnam, and the latter were highly active.
Starting from 2008, the service has gone extremely unstable with many bugs left open. Despite being flawed and faulty, Vietnamese expressed the will that the product should be spun off and sold to a Vietnamese operator. Nevertheless, Yahoo! decided to close down the service, leaving Vietnamese netizens disarray, disappointed, discontent.
The localized Yahoo! 360plus from Hong Kong was a big flop.
Where have they gone?
- The majority find social networks sticky. They settled down on Zing Me (now 8 million users) and Facebook (now 2 million). Apparently the numbers include the next generation of users
- Geeks use self-hosted WordPress
- Non-geeks who take writing seriously setup WordPress and Blogger accounts
- Around 2 million on YuMe, a 360 clone
Yahoo! MeMe, a microblogging tool received almost no attention.
Yahoo! just launched its new blogging platform, Yahoo! Blog. I have the impression it was created with Korea market in mind. The product is neatly done with improved and clean design.
All it receives from Vietnamese netizens are smirks and rejection. Too late for Yahoo!. The users were left with despair and they now turn their back on the company’s attempts. Hope it’ll growth in Korea and Hong Kong.
Again, even if Yahoo! didn’t close down the faulty 360, could it have successfully monetized the community in the first place? My guess is no. Yahoo! never tried doing so.
This blog covers global and Vietnam news with a financial economics view, with in-depth analysis.
The author, Mr. Giang Le PhD, is working for an investment fund in Brisbane, Australia.
This blog covers economic news and is updated with high frequency.
3. hoquoctuan.wordpress.com and hoquoctuan.blogspot.com
Tuan writes and co-writes for local newspapers. His WordPress is an aggregate of his articles. His Blogspot is more like a reading archive with occasional comments. Commenting on his blog would trigger in-depth responses.
Tuan is doing his PhD in University of Manchester.
A more trader-oriented blog that mostly covers the author’s analysis on US market, with occasional view on Vietnam environment.
Tri bases in Oregon and his team in HCMC.
A collaborative blog by PG Bank’s Research Group.
I face a few issues ordering items from international online shopping sites:
- Many sellers on Amazon and other online shopping sites (e.g. underarmour.com) do not ship goods to my location
- Many sellers require hard-copy credit card scan sent to them
- Customs and import tax handling
- International supports are often ambiguous, time-consuming, and sometimes costly
- PayPal has issues processing my local bank accounts
eBay.vn (a JV by eBay and PeaceSoft) now offers international transaction service, a solution to my issues.
How it works:
- You find what you need online. Condition: the site allows payment via credit card and/or PayPal
- Click here to place order via eBay.vn
- eBay.vn will order the goods and delivers to your door
- Fee: as for my item, a fee of $15 applied. Import tax & VAT are applied on top depending on the item
I placed an order with them and paid using NganLuong.vn (PeaceSoft’s payment solution, similar to PayPal). Customer service was responsive and nice.
There’s a promotion running, eBay.vn gives VND200,000 coupons to first-time users. Click here to grab it.
There are other similar (and smaller) services, but I put my trust on a company invested by eBay.
You wanna give it a try.
Kingbee Media launched motibee.com, an online networking site for professionals. It is hoped that they can build community of professionals then sell online ads.
My prediction is that their online business won’t turn out as good as what they’re expecting today. Simply put, money doesn’t flow to this niché. Senior level knowledge sharing and deal making are not done online.
It’d be better off if the company goes back to where it is strong: generating revenue from building networks offline. The online channel, at best, serves as a public relation and/or community relation. In short, majority of revenue shall be from offline activities and dealings.
If they insist, I hope I will be proven wrong.
As a foot note, CyVee ceases development and Caravat is officially dead. I’m sure Ms. Thanh Nguyen is planning something else for Anphabe.
CafeF1 reports Baidu has launched 2 sites in Vietnamese language:
The portal vn.hao123.com and Q&A service zhidao.baidu.com.vn
This is part of the localization of Baidu’s existing services to other international markets. Baidu also recruits PM in Vietnam.
I like the portal.
- It’s neat
- It lists the sites that I benefit from knowing
- Lots of white spaces, few images
- Large and pleasant font (Tahoma?). BTW I hate Times & Arial
- In terms of information, I prefer it to vn.yahoo.com and alltop.com (sorry Guy)
- In terms of customization it is nowhere near netvibes.com and iGoogle.com though
- The concern is if I use VNI Vietnamese typing method, the URL messes up
So in short, nice attempt.
The Q&A service will have to compete with Yahoo! Answers. Also, savy.vn is preparing to launch.
The challenge Baidu has in Vietnam is probably public relations.