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Vietnamese try to avoid head-on confrontation with Google

Vietnamese digital content firms cannot see any opportunity to defeat Google when competing face to face with the US giant.

VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnamese digital content firms cannot see any opportunity to defeat Google when competing face to face with the US giant.


According to Vu The Binh, General Director of Netnam, which once developed the searching website PanVietnam, which, together with VinaSeek, PanVietnam, were the three Internet searching engines in Vietnam, xalo, socbay and timnhanh were defeated by Google mostly because of the technique and market problems.

Binh believes that Google now can satisfy 98-99 percent of the Vietnamese search demand already. This means that Vietnamese service providers would only have the opportunities to satisfy the remaining 1-2 percent of demand.

“The niche markets, such as searching for sites, prove to be too small for made-in-Vietnam service developers to exist and develop,” Binh commented.

In 2001-2002, PanVietnam, Hoatieu, Vinaseek could gain certain successes because there existed different language codes. However, Google then launched Unicode, which later became the choice of all the websites in Vietnam. As a result, the first-generation searching websites in Vietnam suffered fell into decay and gave their places to Google.

In 2007-2008, Vietnamese firms once again tried to develop searching websites, when they saw that Baidu defeated Google in the Chinese market to jump into the No. 1 position by threading its way through the niche markets, for example, searching for music or news.

However, the firms once again tasted the failure, even though they poured a lot of money into the projects, because of the difference between Vietnamese and Chinese languages, and the lack of support from users.

Meanwhile, Google has been upgrading its services every day by providing new utilities or improving the capability of searching in Vietnamese.

Vuong Quang Khai, Deputy General Director of VNG, admitted that VNG decided not to develop the searching website Hoatieu as initially planned after many interior discussions which came to a conclusion that VNG did not have enough financial and labor power to develop the searching engine.

“Unlike the other software products, searching websites cannot be settled with just tens of engineers,” he said.

Nguyen Xuan Tai, General Director of Naiscorp, the developer of, also said the corporation never thought of competing face to face. “if you try a head-on confrontation with Google, a giant with powerful financial and technology base, you can be certain of failure,” Tai said.

Both Khai and Binh affirmed that the only way for Vietnamese firms to follow is to focus on the niche markets, such as site searching. However, if they do, they are not sure about the development prospect, because of the limited number of users, while Google Maps now can satisfy well the demand of the majority of users already.

When asked if there is any opportunity for Vietnamese firms to succeed in competing with Google, Khai said in a cautious manner that it’s difficult to say about that, but he is sure that it will require very heavy investment with the participation of hundreds of engineers or scientists.

Meanwhile, Thai of Naiscorp affirmed that the statement like “outrunning Google” just aims to advertise for products, while defeating Google is merely impossible.

Khai has disagreed with the opinion that Vietnamese searching engines would have the advantage in the keys relating to the Vietnamese language, saying that this is not a very important problem.



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