Posts tagged: zing

A brief history of Vietnam FinTech over the last decade

By , December 12, 2016 2:55 am

The first major event of ‘contemporary’ Viet FinTech was the birth of the then-competing three Bank Switchboards

Then there were OnePay, NganLuong, Payoo, Paynet, Webmoney, VTC Pay, Zing Pay…

I don’t have the ambition to list all players who joined the playground. We thus can skip through VNBC, NTT Data’s acquisition of Payoo, MobiVi’s successful funds raising series from players such as Experian, how BaoKim ‘borrowed’ from NganLuong, Paylink’s closure.

Key takeaway 1: The market consolidated even before it had the opportunity to fragment. It hadn’t taken long for Smartlink to take over the market before the merger (or reverse-acquisition) which subsequently hatched Napas.

Key takeaway 2: To base on bank or non-bank institution should not have even been a question to ask. Merchant-reliant payment solutions still need to run on top of bank-reliant gateways.

e-Payment is no longer stuck

e-Payment used to be a chicken-and-egg problem: no customer base no bargain power, no bargain power no business development. So chicken or egg?

This question, too, is irrelevant. Business development on merchant side must move ahead buyer base, the opposite doesn’t work. So the real question is: investment. A few deal-makers solved it beautifully, named Momo and PeaceSoft.

Zen?

If FinTech is as at today too ahead of Vietnam economy, should players zen down and wait till the economy catches up?

As much as we aspire to there’s only so much FinTech players can do to speed up the process. Educating users and banks is too costly even with deep pockets.

Then there’s politics.

Anything to do other than zenning and waiting for the retail banking market?

Considerations

  1. M&A and deal making.
  2. Optimize micro-transactions.
  3. Externalities and network development.
  4. Buy more time, slow down the cash burn rate.
    Fortunately, the market as in 2016 is not as harsh as “the last man standing wins” because players have found their respective verticals.
    Payment solutions are not only e-Commerce; big money is still cash management.
  5. The war against COD. The state of COD today was begun by NhomMua and Lazada. Tough but inevitable battle.
  6. Peer-to-peer financing.
  7. Key question: Strategic partnership with bank(s) is certainly a must, but how deep?
  8. Receiving investment, being a subsidiary (with all accompanying governance), being an associated company, integrate to the gateway, staying as a fa├žade, what help to get from SBV, what help to get from MOF.
    Governance often chooses man not the other way around.
  9. Treading the thin line of symbiosis, avoiding irritating financial institutions.

Bucket seems full, am I deluding myself astray?

Image source: http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/Entrepreneurship_Centre/Images/fintech-generic-phone.jpg

Android mobile messaging apps brief review

By , September 8, 2012 6:49 am

Icon Name Pros Cons
WhatsApp
  • Best for messaging
  • Quick
  • Stable
  • Auto-attempt to resend failed messages
  • Best interface
  • Good for sending photos
N/A
Viber Best for free call
  • Extremely heavy & sluggish
  • Some users find it hard to setup
  • Retrieve the whole phone contact list by default and fail to handle thousands of records
LINE Stickers
  • Frequent message failure
  • Slow compared to WhatsApp
  • Calls are more unstable than Viber
  • Photo sending is sluggish
WeChat
  • Hold to talk
  • Best for audio messages
Unsolicited messages from Chinese users
Zalo Flow & interface very similar to WeChat thus lower learning curve Spam friend requests from teenage strangers with incomprehensible language
Wala N/A Boring interface
TalkBox Hold to talk Old & boring interface
KakaoTalk N/A Uninspiring interface

What product(s) are you using? How can I add you on that service?

RIP Zing Deal

By , February 2, 2012 12:24 pm

zing deal close end vng announcement

After muale.vn, VNG decided to close Zing Deal.

How many more will die?

Disclosure: these are the deals I bought from these sites.

http://www.golive.vn/voucher/an-uong/ch-232-thap-cam-h-224-noi-1976/2442/

http://www.golive.vn/voucher/an-uong/voucher-thuong-thuc-2-m-243-n-ba-ba-tuoi-ngon-v-224-hap/2536/

x3 http://deal.zing.vn/deal/giam-49-su-lua-chon-thong-minh-chong-tron-truot-san-nha-voi-tham-kien-lam

http://deal.zing.vn/deal/39000d-diet-vi-khuan-giu-sach-vat-dung-bo-2-san-pham-super-clean-thong-minh

x2 http://deal.zing.vn/tp-ho-chi-minh/deal/78000d-tan-chay-voi-kem-bud-s-mat-lanh-cung-cac-mon-khai-vi-hap-dan

x2 http://deal.zing.vn/tp-ho-chi-minh/deal/40000d-cung-nham-nhi-cafe-gap-go-ban-be-giua-khong-gian-phap-tai-vendome

http://deal.zing.vn/tp-ho-chi-minh/deal/doc-la-cac-mon-an-mot-lan-nho-mai-tai-serepok-restaurant-chi-voi-50000d

x2 http://deal.zing.vn/tp-ho-chi-minh/deal/giam-50tan-huong-nhung-mon-kem-coffee-dam-net-chau-au-tai-angel-garden

http://deal.zing.vn/tp-ho-chi-minh/deal/ngon-tuyet-banh-la-baum-kuchen-vua-cua-cac-loai-banh-tai-le-tokyo-baum

How many Twitter clones in Vietnam have perished? What next?

By , December 3, 2011 6:41 am

Since 2008, the following

  1. qblog.vn
  2. hola.vn
  3. tiutit.com
  4. nhangui.com
  5. lamgi.com
  6. kucku.vn
  7. tictac.vn

A veteran from the Twitter clone craze in 2008 is mimo.vn and they did implement the SMS mass messaging feature that I had hinted. Another one is also left is saigonica.com

In 2011, these new local micro-blogging products were launched:

  1. ming.vn from VCCorp
  2. live.zing.vn from VNG
  3. pega.vn from VCCorp [slightly different in that it works on "add friend" mechanism instead of follow]
  4. vsao.vn

The wave of Weibo cloning will be observable in 2012.

Meanwhile, Tumblr is growing rapidly. Vietnamese users like right-brain products.

Check these out: new product launch November 2011

By , November 27, 2011 3:01 am

WebSieuThi.vn

An e-commerce website with some unique offerings: lottery, groceries. Phone recharge codes and game cards are also offered.

Payment can be done via

online payment

I prefer paying via NganLuong.

Free shipping to central districts in HCMC for orders over VND300,000 (US$15).

I have recurring demands for Patritti and Berri juice.

DauGiaNguoc.chodientu.vn

The second dedicated online penny bid service in Vietnam after 1bid.vn

You win the item when your bid is lowest and unique.

QBata.com

qbata logo

After the mobile apps from NhomMua and MuaChung, QBata launches a mobile-only Groupon service.

You browse the deals and pay the "reservation fee" of the deal via SMS and pay the full amount when consuming the service/product when visiting the merchant. This product serves the need of impulse and immediate purchase of vouchers.

CungMuaSam Zing Me app

cungmuasam

CungMuaSam.net integrates its service to Zing Me by launching an application on Zing Me platform.

DealCuaTui.com

dealcuatui logo

An groupbuy aggregator site with market statistics. The information is sourced from figures published from respective groupbuy sites.

How social networking in Vietnam is different from other countries in the region

By , November 20, 2011 4:12 pm

10 years ago the first thing Vietnamese learn about communicating through the Internet is chatting. There were some services targeting Vietnam market before Yahoo! Messenger came to dominate all communication channels.

Yahoo! Messenger’s domination in Vietnam opened up the way for Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! 360. In recent years, the email market share is largely chipped by Gmail. Yahoo! Messenger, while the top IM client, faces competition from Skype. Hotmail, Live Messenger and Gtalk are not widely popular in the country.

A growing trend is, however, that people start to learn about social networking and Facebook. Many sign up for the Internet to, first thing first, communicating via social networks. The same is happening in other South East Asian countries.

The social network battle in Vietnam in 2011 boils down to the dual-horse race between the two leaders Zing Me and Facebook. While Twitter and Plurk gain traction in other countries in the region, micro-blogging in Vietnam has never taken off. Even technology-enthusiasts use Facebook for live reporting (which Twitter is logically most suitable for) and viralling current events.

Why? My attempt to answer the question:

  1. Vietnamese language comes with diacritics thus requires a lot more than 140 characters to express a full sentence
  2. Vietnamese users are more familiar with “Add Friend” relationship than “Follow” mechanism
  3. Most importantly, Twitter doesn’t satisfy the gamification demand crazed by Vietnamese users. Vietnamese teenagers go on Zing Me mostly to play webgames. Many also go on Facebook sheerly for games rather than for connecting. Foursquare has received lots of attention probably thanks to the rewards and Mayor competition.

The next question pops into my mind: if gamification is so important, why hasn’t Plurk known in Vietnam while it is very popular in Taiwan and the Philippines? Again, my attempt

  1. Plurk hasn’t been covered by local media which is crucial in the growth of services. Facebook received local media coverage.
  2. Many influencers don’t know what Plurk is. As for me, I deactivated my Plurk account after collecting many medals.

Thanks @salsabeela and @kounila for sharing the information on social networking in your countries.

Addendum

Tumblr is growing rapidly in Vietnam.

Ngoc Hieu has an explanation on the adaption Twitter: Vietnamese users like colors and emotions, neither of which Twitter offers.

Yahoo! Blog 2011: too late an attempt for Vietnam

By , October 22, 2011 12:22 pm

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! blog logo

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.

Microblogging and social bookmarking 2011

By , October 8, 2011 3:43 pm
  • At its peak, Twitter had no more than 3000 users in Vietnam, the majority among whom are geeks. This is a rough estimation from many avid users. The number has dropped drastically since 2008.
  • Most Twitter clones in Vietnam failed. This year, I only see mimo.vn left. It eventually implemented SMS updates that I had hinted back in 2009.
  • 2 years after I deplurked, Plurk has been slowly gaining traction in Philippines and Taiwan. While information on the reasons Weibo dominates China is easy to find, analysis on Plurk is limited I still can’t answer why. A Taiwanese friend of mine, upon receiving my question, replied briefly “Personally I think the mechanism of Plurk is very close to Taiwanese ideology of mumbling”.
  • When Twitter clones don’t work, a new wave of products were hatched: VNG launched Zing Live, a proclaimed Weibo clone by its CEO. VCCorp launched Ming.vn and Pega.vn. Pega, surprisingly, works on “add friend” rather than “follow” mechanism.
  • I would expect more Weibo clones to come.
  • Digg, reddit, Mixx, slashdot, furk are all dropping
  • Meanwhile, StumbleUpon is having a spike in traffic. What has it done right?

stumbleupon traffic

Quick note: originality of social music services in Vietnam

By , March 24, 2009 11:32 am

Through muds and sweats, Zing mp3, Yeah1 TV and Sannhac (*) prevail…

…which are not clones.

Even if they are actual clones, no one would bother remembering the original product.

Good lesson.

(*) @Web2Vietnam mentioned sannhac to me in February H3.

Zing Mail Beta, unlimited storage, 30Mb attachment

By , August 7, 2008 12:13 pm

Eventually after aggressively penetrating Vietnam market with a lot of properties such as the colorful Zing portal, the controversial Zing chat and the very successful social-networking site Yobanbe, Zing MP3…, Zing is preparing to roll out Email service.

Zing Mail Beta

  • 30Mb attachment, 3 times as much as that of Yahoo! Mail
  • Server in Vietnam so bottle-neck effect is eliminated.

Through a short interview with Zing team’s Chief Developer, I learned that the following will be supported

  • Unlimited storage
  • POP3
  • Screen capture
  • e-cards
  • Music embed. This is a smart move to integrate with products together.

When I logged in using Safari, the message “System is busy” pops out. I retried with Firefox and it went well. The message looks like a facade to the incompatibility of many browsers.

My prediction is that many users will utilize this service as a music-sharing channel.

Will you explore this email service?

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