HA NOI (VNS)— The domestic digital content market, estimated to be worth billions of dollars, may be out of reach of domestic enterprises if they don't receive State support.
The white book on Viet Nam's information technology and communication shows digital content has had impressive growth over the past 10 years. It only makes up 10 per cent of the total revenue of the information technology industry but it has been growing by 20-40 per cent a year.
The industry had a turnover of US$1 billion in 2011, when 500-600 enterprises were employing 60,000 workers.
The latest report of the Viet Nam Communications Society said major opportunities had come with the number of mobile phone and internet subscribers in South-East Asia soaring. There were about 130 million mobile subscribers in Viet Nam, including 10 million 3G subscribers.
Former Minister of Information and Communication Le Doan Hop said if digital content firms could take full advantage of the opportunities, they could earn tens of trillions of dong a year.
General director of VNG Corporation Le Hong Minh said the digital content industry had attracted the attention of the Vietnamese internet industry.
In 2012, VNG had a turnover of VND2 trillion ($95.24 million), despite the economic climate, Minh said.
Phan Sao Nam, President of VTC Online, said Viet Nam now had 34 million Internet subscribers, with the figure expected to increase to 50 million in the next 3-5 years, a "golden opportunity" for the digital content industry.
Nguyen Hong Truong, vice president of IDG Ventures Viet Nam, agreed, saying that if Viet Nam could develop the participation of the government, investment funds, foreign companies, domestic companies and support for startups, it would be able to pocket profits of tens of billions of dollar over the years.
A report of the Ministry of Information and Communication showed digital content firms had a growth rate of 40 per cent in 2009, but the figure dropped to 25 per cent in 2010 and to 20 per cent in 2011.
Experts predicted a modest growth rate in 2012 with a turnover of $1.5 billion, a little higher than the $1 billion in 2011.
Google had been dominating the search and digital ad market while Facebook had been recognised as the social network with the highest number of Vietnamese users.
Minh called on the Sate to support domestic digital content firms to compete with the foreign "big guys".
Minh said current policies relating to industry development remained unclear and it took from 6-12 months to lay down a new policy, time enough for Facebook to increase its number of Vietnamese users from 3 million to 12 million. — VNS