Last update 7/2/2012 8:56:08 AM (GMT+7)

Chinese Baidu attempts to penetrate Vietnamese market

VietNamNet Bridge – The information that Baidu Tra da quan (ice tea shop), a Chinese social network would make debut in Vietnam on July 1 has appeared on a lot of websites in Vietnam. Meanwhile, sources have said that besides the social network, the Chinese company has been implementing a series of other projects, quietly.

Baidu Tra da quan is slated to make debut in Vietnam in early July. However, the Vietnamese Internet community has been “throwing stone” into the social network for the last couples of weeks already. A lot of members of the Vietnamese social networks such as VOZ or GameVN have called on to boycott the Chinese social network. A lot of other people have also expressed their aversion to the products from the neighboring country.

Some experts said that the presence of Baidu in Vietnam is foreseeable. The Chinese giant has been developing very rapidly in China and it has automatically thought of expanding its business in South East Asia, where Vietnam is the nearest country in terms of geographical position.

The experts have warned that the presence of Baidu in Vietnam should be seen as a big threat to the Vietnamese social networks, which still have to struggle to obtain Vietnamese clients on the home market.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese people have commented on Facebook that the Chinese company does not have many opportunities to succeed in Vietnam. For the last few years, Vietnamese have been trying to keep away from Chinese products, because in their thoughts, Chinese products mean low quality and harmful products. Therefore, in order to win Vietnamese people’s hearts, the Chinese social network would have to make great efforts to change their efforts.

At present, Facebook remains the biggest social network with the highest number of members in Vietnam. This means that Chinese Baidu would meet big obstacles when entering the Vietnamese market. Besides Facebook, the most powerful social networks, Baidu would also have to compete with other Vietnamese social networks which would struggle to scramble for the “pieces of the cake.”

In fact, not only Baidu, but some other Chinese technological firms with powerful financial capability have landed in Vietnam as well. Wechat, an app of Tencent, has more deeply penetrated into the market. Meanwhile, Baidu has been spending huge sums of money to popularize Baiduplayer.

However, it remains unclear about the result. The most clear evidence which shows the intention of Baidu to do everything to cement its firm position in Vietnam is that it has been continuously seeking the personnel to be in charge of the Vietnamese market.

To prepare for the launching of the social network, Baidu has been running a noisy advertisement campaign. Users have been told that they just need choose interesting topics and email to Baidu to be able to receive small gifts such as mousse, or IPods.

Meanwhile, Thanh Nien has quoted Luu Vu Hai, high ranking official of the Ministry of Information and Communication, as saying that the ministry has not received any application for launching Baidu Tra da quan. As such, if Baidu social network still runs in Vietnam, it would be stopped and treated in accordance with the Vietnamese laws.

Buu Dien has reported that while Baidu Tra da quan makes public the domain name in Vietnam, a lot of other projects have also been carried out in Vietnam, but in a quiet way.

The newspaper has quoted its sources as saying that besides the social network, Baidu is carrying two searching projects called hao123 and hao222, and an online music called qianqian. However, the projects have been registered with the domain name “.com”, and to date, not much information has been released.

Source: Buu dien, GenK