Closure part of changing management strategy in Southeast Asia, company says, though some believe otherwise.
Viber’s office in Vietnam will be closed and moved to the Philippines, Director of Viber in Vietnam Ms. Nguyen Dang Quynh Anh announced on July 8. She explained that Viber is changing its strategy in Southeast Asia, where it will only have an office in the Philippines rather than in every country. She stressed that Viber is an international Over-The-Top (OTT) platform and not an individual platform in each country.
The new office will be in charge all Viber’s marketing activities in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar.
Some experts believe that the closure of the Vietnam office is to avoid a draft stipulation from the Ministry of Information and Communications on the management of text and mobile services via the internet. Foreign mobile service provides who supply the service via the internet and don’t have a server in Vietnam must cooperate with Vietnamese telecommunication companies to obtain a business license in the country.
Ms. Quynh Anh said that Viber’s active users in Vietnam total 23 million, which covers 60 per cent of the OTT market in the country. A representative from a telecommunications provider, however, said that the figure was only about 4 or 5 million.