Last month, there was a considerable amount of online chatter about Vietnam’s prime minister planning to throw down $200 million to build a social network for the youth of Vietnam. Yeah, that’s more than the amount Coc Coc plans to pump into beating Google in Vietnam in the next decade.
It still remains unclear where the $200 million will come from and how the Vietnamese government plans to allocate that money to building such a huge and possibly bloated product. It’s also unsettled what the goal of such a project would be. Either way, we do know that it’s been allocated to the Ministry of Information and Communication.
In the midst of the rumors, some people have speculated that the as yet unlaunched Thanh Nien Vietnam, which literally means Vietnam’s Youth and appears to be a website for the government-sponsored national youth organization, was actually the $200 million project. But ICTnews.vn just debunked this. It’s not the $200 million project.
According to the Thanh Nien Vietnam website, the project won’t launch for another 253 days. Who knows what they’re doing for over a year when it took Zuckerberg one month to code the first version of Facebook. But I guess they want to be careful. It’s also not clear yet what the features for this website will be beyond what the CEO Le Quang Tu Do says is to bring the youth together in meaningful ways.
But there’s still no official word on the $200 million project and if it’s really starting up.
The Vietnamese government has made some significant steps in getting more involved in social media, like with Go.vn, which previously required Vietnamese citizens to enter their national identity numbers in order to get an account, but has since slowly spun off into a super platform that includes music, e-commerce, video, news, and education. Zing Me from VNG, on the other hand, still remains the biggest teen social network.