The digital economy in Vietnam has been flourishing, although its reach may not be as great as government policy would wish. Initiatives to promote e-commerce throughout the country have been creative and energetic since VNPT submitted an e-commerce development plan for government approval more than a decade ago. The government has been the driving force behind the country's move into the age of the digital economy. It has been constantly emphasising the need to use e-commerce to improve the country's economic competitiveness. The government assigned joint responsibility for e-commerce to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the then Ministry of Posts and Telematics (MPT). Whilst there remains much more to be done, for example its e-government capability needs considerable improvement, Vietnam has put in place e-commerce strategies for the long term that are starting to deliver.
On another related front, by 2015 Vietnam was moving quickly towards the digitalisation of TV broadcasting. A strategy plan for conversion to digital TV had been approved by the government. The Prime Minister signed off on a nationwide analogue to digital migration plan which would see the country's television stations broadcasting completely digital by 2020. The government has been giving this program a high priority since then and in March 2015 it confirmed that Vietnam was on track for all provinces and cities in the country to have digitised television by 2020. In the meantime, it was noted that the provinces and cities in the delta will stop using analogue technology by 2018.
The current set up for TV broadcasting sees a range of different pay TV services available in Vietnam; these include cable TV (analogue and digital), digital terrestrial TV (DVB-T), direct-to-home (DTH) (digital satellite TV) and Internet Protocol TV (IPTV). With some 40 pay TV service providers in the country, the cost of service to the customer has been pushed right down by competition. But the quality of service is notoriously bad, an issue that the regulator is trying hard to correct.
This report looks at the digital economy and digital media in Vietnam. In providing a broad overview of these markets, it presents a set of statistics and other relevant data.
Vietnam is rapidly moving online, with 95% of the population in the 15-24 year age group being counted as internet users; Mobile operator Vinaphone introduced an e-medicine service' for its customers during 2015; Vietnam's UN E-Government Development Index for 2014 was 0.4705, placing it 99th out of 193 countries; a schedule had been put in place for the digitalisation of TV broadcasting in Vietnam; the MIC issued a set of digital TV standards ahead of the planned digitalisation; the DVB-T2 terrestrial digital TV standard was selected; the government was to subsidise poor households to acquire terrestrial digital TV receivers.
Companies mentioned in this report:
Facebook; Google; Vietnam Cable TV (VCTV); SCTV; K+; Alibaba, EBay; BTS-Hanoi; HTVC-HCM City; VTC; Vinaphone; Viettel; VNPT; Qualcomm; Red River Delta