Mr. Vuong Quang Khai, Executive Vice President of the VNG Corporation, tells VET about the success of its OTT app Zalo.
With Zalo reaching 30 million users on May 20, what factors do you think lie behind your success?
When we started in late 2012 we understood that we could never compete feature-wise with international players. Other companies such as Viber and Kakao had higher technical capabilities, years of experience, and huge marketing budgets. Thus, we decided Zalo must be a simple over-the-top (OTT) app, focusing on the core chat experience. And we spent a lot of effort on optimizing the product to make it fast and reliable, because most handsets in Vietnam at that time were low-end models run on top of slow 2G-3G networks.
What difficulties have OTT providers like Zalo faced?
The greatest challenge in making OTT apps is the technical capability. Even with years of experience in building the million-user systems of Zing Mp3 and Zing Me we still faced many technical issues in Zalo’s development period. Our tech team of about 50 engineers is quite small compared with the hundreds of engineers working at international OTT apps. So we were quite lucky to be adopted by the market.
What do you predict for the development of the OTT market in Vietnam in general and for Zalo over the next three years?
As Vietnam is amid a boom in smartphones and 3G I believe that the OTT market is in the mass adoption phase. Zalo has just celebrated its 30 millionth user. In the next phase OTTs will integrate with many kinds of daily services, such as health care, education and transport, to become more useful in daily life.