Facebook is blocked in Vietnam. But these days the block is lighter, and you can bypass it with a simple Google DNS trick. We’ve seen worse days back during more politically touchy times when the Facebook block had to be bypassed with HotSpotShield, Tor, or a VPN. For the past year or two, the block’s been mildly lifted and Vietnamese netizens live in Facebook freedom.
Today, block or not, Vietnam’s internet population is by far the most aggressive Facebook population in the region. Facebook is currently at 71.4 percent penetration of the total internet population. Last time we checked, Vietnam’s internet population amounted to 32 million people. That means over 22 million Vietnamese people are on Facebook. Just for perspective, that’s two million more people than the population of Sri Lanka. It’s eight million more than the population of Cambodia, Vietnam’s neighbor.
The numbers come from a report from SocialBakers  who gave a presentation at the Information Technology conference here in Ho Chi Minh city.
Last year, Vietnam’s Facebook numbers in October were at 8.5 million users. In other words, in one year, Facebook has added an extra 14 million users. This is in stark contrast to American users, six million of whom dropped out in one month. That also makes Vietnam Facebook’s fastest growing nation. This kind of growth is especially favorable for brands and small businesses that want to penetrate the Vietnamese market. But it’s also promising for Vietnam’s increasingly vocal population, despite incoming regulations that might stymy freedom of speech online.
Indeed, there are numbers for Taiwan that suggest Facebook may be leading in penetration there but it still sits at a comparatively low 60 percent. Thailand is also showing some explosive growth with now 24 million users in total.
(Source: ICTnews, article in Vietnamese)
(Editing by Steven Millward)
 Caveat: SocialBakers does not always provide accurate data. But by our estimate, in March this year, the total of Vietnamese Facebook users hit 12 million. It’s therefore foreseeable that it could have added 10 million users since earlier this year. We have contacted Facebook for confirmation on the numbers.
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