Posts tagged: online

A quick update of my opinion on online payment in Vietnam

By , May 2, 2013 4:40 pm
  • The online payment market consolidates (it is) even before penetrating mainstream buyers.
  • Online payment through credit card grows at a surprising rate. After all, Vietnamese users tend to learn more about online payment with services from banks. I personally don’t think PayPal’s model can be replicated in Vietnam, not with the power of the banks.
  • Many e-commerce sites still resist integrating online payment services because they feel their process will be jeopardized while transaction value through online payment isn’t worth it. Chicken and egg problem and they decide not to take the pain of educating users.
  • Many other e-commerce sites (e.g. Zalora & Lazada) drop NganLuong and OnePay with the same reason: transaction value through online payment isn’t worth it. Still, chicken and egg problem. I, an online payment advocate, have become frustrated.
  • We are all serious about online payment because that’s the future. But many of us have been acting like it’s a distant one indeed.

Vietnamese user behavior on forums

By , November 4, 2012 10:51 am

This is a repost from a discussion with my friends on Facebook.

  1. Forums still account for 65% online activities in Vietnam. Sources: two internet market research teams and their figures seem to match.
  2. Forum allows or even promotes anonymity which many East Asian (Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese) users prefer.
  3. Forum is content-focused so posters on forums feel they can blend in the crowd, a behavior collectivistic Vietnamese prefer.
  4. Some vertical forums are very deep: on mon & baby care, Otofun on vehicles, vOz on IT and gossip… Deep: quality of content, online ad inventory, and engagement of respective communities.

Outline of investment thesis for VCCorp

By , June 28, 2012 5:20 pm

Vietnam ebooks market, the first step

By , December 15, 2011 12:24 pm

vietnamese kindle

Market size?

Fresh market.


  1. Piracy
  2. User habit
  3. Underdeveloped e-payment system. Currently, most e-payment is done through SMS. Content providers share 50-55% upfront revenue with telecommunication service providers

The Pioneers

  2. VCCorp
  3. VTC Online confirmed the intention
  4. Publishers including FirstNews, Alpha Book, Youth Publisher
  5. Lac Viet

A few players have expressed their intention to join the market. More update when their intentions have materialized and publicized.

Show me the money

I have just personally brainstormed a few ideas how players would workaround the challenges and elicit money from buyers

  1. Target impulse buying demand
  2. Provide convenience for mobile device holders
  3. Provide a complete hi-end experience for smart phone holders – good content to go with good hardware
  4. The long tail where pirates don’t bother pirating
  5. Work with academic institutions to educate and/or coerce students into consuming the contents. Alezaa is deploying this

What categories?

  1. Manga!
  2. English textbooks
  3. Chick lit

Show me MORE money

How to earn enough to be profitable?

I’m using Amazon for a case study

  1. Selling Kindles at subsidy to create the platform for content consumption
  2. Technology-powered automation to control scaling cost, and to serve the long tail
  3. Large scale (one million titles as at December 2011) for network effect which leads to market domination which leads to revenue
  4. Use bargain power to drive down costs from suppliers
  5. Backward integration to cut the costs from suppliers

Image courtesy: Tiendq

Have we been sleeping with the enemy COD for so long?

By , December 14, 2011 4:34 am

GOOD is the enemy of GREAT.

Jim Collins

cash on delivery 1. I hate COD (cash on delivery). My job requires me to travel frequently I’m not in my office for COD. Asking my colleague in the office to collect the items for me is very inconvenient because of the high frequency my purchases.

2. I’m flabbergasted and frustrated that when I expressed my personal desire that e-Commerce sites should support e-Payment to make my life easier, what I received was resistance from many e-Commerce service providers!

A common response was "you’re not in 90% of our customers".

I’m showing why this is a bad response.

3. is 100% free for merchants, and it shouldn’t be too difficult and time-consuming to integrate. I can use BaoKim. Instead of resisting (and showing the superiority of strategy to customers), why wouldn’t they just try integrating the service?

4. e-Payment is what (I believe) we aim to. However, since Vietnamese users have not developed the habit of online payment, e-Commerce service providers have learned to adapt with COD. COD, as we know it, is costly, inefficient, and risky (fraud orders) to merchants & service providers.

Do we want COD permanent here? I think no.

Have we learned to live (and suffer) with COD for so long that we take COD for granted, tend to guard COD as if it is the ultimate standard and resist e-Payment? Many e-Commerce practitioners give me the impression Yes.

We may agree that COD is good, at least for now. GOOD is the enemy of BETTER.

5. This is a minor point. Being an e-Commerce advocate, I understand how resistant Vietnamese buyers are, and I empathize with e-Commerce service providers. Please, my e-Commerce friends, don’t resist to even me.

6. Fortunately, I can prepay using e-Payment from my favorite e-Commerce service providers: / (NganLuong), (BaoKim / OnePay), (NganLuong), (Soha Pay aka MuaChungPay).

7. I am comfortable with OnePay, Soha Pay (running on top of OnePay), NganLuong, BaoKim. Sadly, Payoo, vnMart, vCash don’t directly support my bank.

8. I specifically wish the following merchants would support one of the 4 e-Payment services I’m comfortable with: NhomMua, Hotdeal, Vinabooks, CungMua. Disclosure: I’ve been buying over 3 million worth of vouchers from NhomMua in 2011.

cash on delivery cod

Online Monitoring in Vietnam

By , October 5, 2011 6:27 am

Spreading the word for BarCamp Hanoi 2009

By , April 10, 2009 12:59 pm

BarCamp Hanoi

Barcamp Hanoi 2009 will be held on April 19, from 8.30 AM to 5.00 PM at RMIT International University, Hanoi campus – 2/2C Van Phuc Compound, Kim Ma street, Hanoi.

Topics may include, but are not limited to: online services, social media, startups, UI design, entrepreneurship, VC, Web 2.0 technologies, online marketing, online advertising, online payment, e-commerce, open source software, hardware hacking, robotics, mobile computing, bioinformatics, programming languages, even the future of technology or global issues.


As a part of the community building process, we’re looking for people to help spread the word about the event.


* Add a badge to your websites or blogs (
* Write blog entries about Barcamp and Barcamp Hanoi 2009 (What is Barcamp?, Information about Barcamp Hanoi 2009, Sponsor for Barcamp Hanoi,…)
* Spread information about Barcamp Hanoi 2009 to people who may concern, maybe via IM, Discussion groups, Email, Twitter, Facebook,…

That would help us alot and make Barcamp Hanoi even more successful.

Thank you so much, we greatly appreciate what you do for Barcamp Hanoi.


Hội thảo công nghệ mở Barcamp Hanoi 2009 sẽ được tổ chức vào ngày 19/4, từ 8.30 sáng đến 5.00 chiều tại trường Đại học Quốc tế RMIT, cơ sở Hà Nội – 2/2C khu Ngoại giao đoàn Vạn Phúc, đường Kim Mã, Hà Nội.

Chủ đề không giới hạn, có thể bao gồm: Dịch vụ trực tuyến, social media, startups, thiết kế giao diện người dùng, entrepreneurship, Đầu tư mạo hiểm, Các công nghệ Web 2.0, marketing trực tuyến, quảng cáo trực tuyến, thanh toán trực tuyến, thương mại điện tử, phần mềm mã nguồn mở, hardware hacking, robotics, mobile computing, bioinformatics, các ngôn ngữ lập trình, công nghệ tương lai, các vấn đề toàn cầu…


Là một phần của quá trình xây dựng cộng đồng, rất mong các bạn giúp đỡ quảng bá sự kiện này đến những người quan tâm.


* Thêm phù hiệu Barcamp Hanoi vào website hay blog của bạn. (
* Viết blog về Barcamp Hanoi (Barcamp là gì?, Thông tin về Barcamp Hanoi 2009, Tài trợ cho Barcamp Hanoi,…)
* Gửi địa chỉ trang web này và giới thiệu với những người có thể quan tâm, có thể qua Yahoo! Messenger, Email, Forum, Twitter, Facebook,…

Việc này sẽ giúp những người tổ chức rất nhiều và làm cho sự kiện thành công hơn nữa.

Cảm ơn các bạn, chúng tôi thật sự rất cảm kích những gì bạn làm cho Barcamp Hanoi.

The Vietnamese online industry, the 20-trillion prediction and its Environment

By , March 14, 2009 11:02 pm

Mr. Le Hong Minh’s prediction that the Vietnamese online industry has the potential to enjoy 20 trillion dong revenues has stirred up the discussion among somewhat weary players in the past weeks. The dominant reaction, from my observation, is disbelief in such a huge number.

This short note of mine contributes to the research side of the topic, by not directly concluding the feasibility of the prediction, but by raising awareness of the environment in which the statement was made.

The 3 elements of the prediction

Mr. Minh took the reported number of Internet users by VNNIC of 20 million as the base. Then he predicted that the number would grow by 15% per annum, which constitutes the rate.

A little calculation gives us 40 million: 20m * (1 + 15%) 5 ~ 40m

From there, he gave a rough estimation that if one person would spend VND 500,000 per year, the market would easily be 20 trillion.

From this result, I have these questions:

1. Is the base a precise estimate?

While being the officially published figure, the number twenty million is questioned by some that it might not correctly reflect the true amount.

Duplications might be counted. For example, a person goes online from his company’s workstation, then goes online on his laptop at an Internet cafe during an appointment, then goes online from his PC at home. If for some reasons the internet connection breaks down while he has important documents to send, he may go to an Internet service. At least 4 occurrences might have been recorded. The recorded number increases if he goes to multiple Internet cafes.

2. From where do we have 15% per annum?

The users that contribute to the growth can be roughly grouped into:

  1. Younger people growing up to be able to use the Internet
  2. Adults from big cities learning to use the Internet
  3. Users from farther provinces across Vietnam

Among these, each user from (2) has the greatest buying power compared to each user from other groups.

3. What will be the percentage of the monetizable?

To avoid complexity, we temporarily accept the 20 million figure.

Ratio of market penetration = number of monetizable users / total number of Internet users

Not all users can be monetized on. Not all new users in the following years can be monetized on.

If the total number of users can grow by 15% each year, how will the number of monetizable users grow?

The Environment

Of course, the companies operating in the industry are not separable from the environment they are in. Their possibilities of success also depend on:

The legal infrastructure

How complete will the laws for e-commerce be by 2014?

The technical infrastructure

How ready is the technical infrastructure of companies for e-commerce transactions and online games?

Internet bandwidth? Websites’ load and stress capabilities? Security?

Roles of participants

It is also important to pay attention to the role of participants in this topic.

Mr. Minh’s role is not that of an analyst, or a journalist, or a blogger. He was the Chairman of VinaGame, an entity that would benefit from any possitive information released and any buzz viralled.

Mr. Minh’s statement may have generated the following effects:

  • Created a buzz in the industry at the beginning of a hard year. More than that, it was a buzz that virals.
  • Motivated some of his staff, IT professionals, IT students and online enthusiasts.


This encapsulates some questions I raise in reaction to this prediction. I’m pretty confident I will be able to collect more data to answer some of them by near future. Meanwhile, some questions, nevertheless, needn’t answers.

How have you received this information? What role did you take?

What questions are you having? What arguments do you want to put forward?

Microsoft Office Live Online goes Beta

By , October 30, 2007 12:35 am

Microsoft Office Live LogoMicrosoft Office Live Logo

Waiting for my workspace to be setup…


Why use Google Documents

By , October 14, 2007 7:30 pm

Email Pressure

Tired of managing versions, comments, feedbacks, emails, attachments of a single document?

Tired of “sorry, I forgot to attach the document in the previous email!”?

Going out to a workplace where they don’t have Microsoft Office installed?

Google Documents solves these problems for you!

Documents, spreadsheets, presentations are served.

You don’t even have to learn, just lie back a watch…

[gv data=””][/gv]

Source: Google Official Blog

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