Around September 17 local time, some analysts in Tokyo and London suddenly decided that Hanoi seems to have joined the US camp and listened to the advice of US President Donald Trump, banned the fifth of China’s Huawei communications company. Generation of mobile communication technology (5G) telecommunications equipment.” For a time, the topic of how Vietnam’s major telecommunications companies choose 5G equipment in the future has been smashed.
After all, in the face of the authoritative media’s conclusive conclusions, anyone will have a bit of guilty conscience. However, any reader who is fluent in English and Vietnamese will only have to look up the results of the report since May 2019. It is not difficult to find that the authorities in Tokyo or London may be arbitrary.
Vietnam’s ideas on technology and equipment may not be limited to the simple level of “using Chinese and American equipment”. As Hanoi is still seeking “independent intellectual property rights” under the “Industry 4.0 Era”. This has led them to gradually pursue their hardware and software. They even hope to produce a “Made in Vietnam” that is satisfactory to Vietnamese people and not controlled by foreign countries in a short period of time.
Vietnam’s choice is not just the United States
At present, there are three major companies in Vietnam that have 5G communication equipment, namely Viettel, Vietnam Post Telecom Group (VNPT) and Vietnam Mobile Communications (MobiFone). Among them, the Vietnam military has the strongest telecom strength. Among the 90 million telecom users in Vietnam, about 60 million choose the service of Vietnam Military Telecom. Therefore, the company’s choice of 5G equipment has basically become Vietnam’s choice.
Vietnam Military Telecom is not just a commercial organization. Its current president, Li Dengyong, is a major general of Vietnam. His former president, Major General Meng Mengxiong, has been promoted to the Minister of Communications and Media of Vietnam. This has enabled the Vietnamese side to use the equipment construction since May 2019. The issue of Vietnam’s 5G network is inconspicuous: it is not just a business decision, but also a political arrangement.
To this end, the Ministry of Communications and Communications of Vietnam declined the invitation to interview in June. In July, Vietnam Military Telecom also declined the question from American reporters. It was not until late August that American reporters learned from Li Dengyong that the Vietnamese would use Qualcomm’s chips and equipment from another US company.
However, Li Dengyong also stressed that Vietnam Military Telecom only “does not consider cooperation with Huawei for the time being”, and this has nothing to do with whether the United States opposes Huawei: this is only because Vietnam is temporarily unable to thoroughly verify the reliability of Huawei equipment and related technologies from a technical perspective. . At this point, the speculation about Vietnam’s “joining the American camp” can be rested.
In fact, Vietnamese companies are only experimenting with 5G communications and Internet of Things applications. In May 2019, companies such as the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group had to delay the 5G communication test until September. As for the 5G Internet of Things that Vietnam Telecom has laid in Hanoi, it is mainly for the temporary track of the 2020 World Formula One (F1) Grand Prix Hanoi Station. Its specific communication network will not be considered for further expansion until 2022. At this point, from the field of 5G, Vietnam’s camp is inevitably far away. The demand in Hanoi will obviously not flow to the side of the team.
Hanoi’s independent appeal
Vietnam is dissatisfied with the fact that core technologies such as communications and networks are in the hands of the outside world. In particular, Hanoi hopes to have outstanding “domestic” achievements in certain special fields. In this regard, Vietnam does not want to stand on either side of China or the United States.
According to the data, Vietnam passed the Cyber Security Law on June 12, 2018, and after implementing the bill on January 1, 2019, it asked Google, Facebook and other high-tech companies to store data in Vietnam. In this way, to ensure its “information sovereignty.” In the face of the situation in which the Vietnamese authorities are unable to conduct information review on communications software and social networks of US companies, Vietnam’s self-developed social networks and social software have received official support.
As of September 2019, the Vietnamese government has already partnered with a suitable partner, Zalo, an instant messaging social software developed by Vietnam VNG. Zalo’s function is close to that of WeChat used in the Chinese-speaking region. It supports sending text messages and video messages, as well as small programs including government affairs release, translation, and car calling. By July 2019, this social software had 40 million active users across Vietnam.
In a poll in June 2019, some experts found that Zalo has become the most recognized social software in Vietnam, second only to Facebook. By July, many provinces in central Vietnam even chose to use Zalo for government affairs and disclosure. According to statistics from the Ministry of Communications and Media of Vietnam, the average daily use of Zalo by Vietnamese is about 2 hours and 7 minutes, which is only 3 hours and 33 minutes after Facebook. This indicator is quite close to establishing an “independent ecosystem that meets the needs of domestic Internet users in Vietnam”.
A real Vietnamese manufacturing
Of course, the Chinese lineage of VNG under Zalo still has some scruples in Hanoi. VNG itself has 30% of the shares of China Tencent, and Zalo’s initial marketing promotion has the WeChat Vietnam version of the strategic exit component. In addition, the Vietnamese e-commerce website Tiki under the name of VNG also has the “strategic investment” part of China Jingdong Company. This allows the Vietnamese side to fully support the Zalo developed by the Vietnamese. On the other hand, it hopes to foster a “Made in Vietnam” that is truly “rooted red seedlings”.
However, the development and promotion of social networking software, platforms and other software are also quite difficult. For example, the Mocha social software launched by Yuejun Telecom in 2016 has only 4.5 million users, and many Vietnamese netizens only use it to watch live broadcasts through the free traffic provided by Vietnam Military Telecom. Vietnam’s previously launched Hahalolo, Biztime and other social networking networks such as dating and finance have only left the outside world with a bad impression of capital hot money. As for the launch of the Gapo, which was announced in July 2019 and claimed to win 50 million users within three years, it was directly down on the day of the launch.
Fortunately, on August 21, 2019, Vietnam’s second largest online media giant VCCorp announced its “local social networking platform” program codenamed “Lotus”. After one year of preparations, the company raised a development fund of 1.2 trillion VND (about 51.6 million U.S. dollars) and was supported by Hanoi technocrats headed by Miao Mengxiong. This has surprised many Vietnamese people.
By September 16th, the platform was officially released. 23 Vietnamese famous media including Vietnam People’s Daily, Vietnam Express, VTV (Vietnamese National TV), Youth Daily and Youth Daily will be stationed for the first time. Vietnamese film stars and network reds were also invited to register. Although the site and applications are still to be perfected, the slogan “ Lotus is a social network developed by Vietnamese ” will undoubtedly satisfy the self-respect of the Vietnamese people and the demand for a controllable news social platform in Hanoi.
Indeed, in terms of the proposition of “Made in Vietnam”, the areas currently available to Vietnam may be extremely limited. Since June 2019, all walks of life in Vietnam have been hurt by the “Asanzo” company that sells cheap Chinese industrial products through “Japanese advanced technology” and “Made in Vietnam”. However, it is precisely because of this that the Vietnamese side will be confident in the real “Made in Vietnam.” When Hanoi has made breakthroughs in its own areas of information sovereignty and security, this means that even if Vietnam cannot temporarily form technology in the cutting-edge field, they have finally found a means of self-protection in the trade war.