Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Google, Facebook to set foot in Vietnam?

What will happen when Google, Facebook set foot in Vietnam?

May 15, 2012
LookAtVietnam – Under the draft decree on Internet and information content
service management, foreign institutions which provide public information
services across the border, attracting many users in Vietnamese territory, have
to set up representative offices in Vietnam.
Once the draft decree gets approval and takes effects, the “big guys” in the
field of digital content, such as Google and Facebook, would be officially
present in Vietnam.
Representative offices not only help collect tax
The fact that Google and Facebook can make big money in Vietnam but do not pay
tax has become a hot topic in discussions. Competent agencies have been many
times urged to set stricter control over the big guys and force them to pay tax
on the earnings in Vietnam.
However, experts have pointed out that if the draft regulation is applied,
Vietnam would get many more benefits from the presence of the big guys rather
than the tax collection.
Vo Do Thang, Director of Athena, a center for network management and security
training, said that the presence of Google and Facebook in Vietnam would help
popularize Vietnam’s image in the world’s information technology market.
“Their presence would also help attract their partners to Vietnam, thus creating
more opportunities to Vietnamese software outsourcing companies,” Thang said.
Also according to Thang, some big guys not only simply provide digital content
services, but also have jumped into other business fields. Google, for example,
also manufactures tablets and smart phones, i.e. it has jumped into the hardware
sector. As such, this may lead to a new wave of investment and new technology
import to Vietnam, the thing that happened in Intel’s case.
Under the current regulations, with representative offices in Vietnam, the big
guys would not be allowed to do business, while they can only act as consultants
and technical supporters. Some manufacturers would try to orient the market
through training and investments. If so, according to Thang, the domestic
infrastructure and labor force would benefit from the programs.
“Besides, when entering Vietnam, foreign groups would bring with themselves
professional management procedures, which are very useful for the sectors with
hot development, including digital content,” Thang said.
Vu Thai Ha, Director of EXA, the company specializing in providing online backup
services, said cloud computing remains an unfamiliar concept for domestic
computer users, therefore, if Google sets up representative offices in Vietnam,
this would be a good signal, showing that Vietnam is market with great
Ngo Dac Thuan, Managing Director of Hat Giong So, a mobile app service provider,
said the presence of Google in Vietnam would support the developers of
Android-based mobile apps
The cooperation and competition
It’s clear that if Google or Facebook set up representative offices in Vietnam
would bring benefits to partners and the domestic users, but would be the
hindrances to the enterprises in the same sectors. The foreign giants would
become even stronger, once they have technical support staff right in Vietnam.
However, domestic firms keep optimistic about the presence of the world’s giants
in Vietnam. Andy Dang, Creative Director of Phan Viet Media Company, said that
he can see the opportunities for cooperation for mutual development.
Meanwhile, Phan Anh Tuan, Director of go.vn network, said in the digital world,
there is no geographical distance. Therefore, the competition has always
existed, even if Google or Facebook do not set up representative offices in
Vietnam. Tuan stressed that Vietnamese businesses always have to struggle with
the two big guys and other rivals to survive already.
Source: TBKTSG
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