Or how to chase Vietnam mobile user
Hanoi, August 2013
Pocket guide for Vietnam mobile market researched by APPOTA
o Information in this report is quoted and complied from various sources.
o Comments are from editors’ assessment.
o We are welcome feedbacks and comments from you.
Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks and Best Regards!
Please view in fullscreen mode for better exprerience
Pocket guide for Vietnam mobile market
Mobile is a booming industry in Vietnam
State of this second highest growth rate in
8 things you need to know to enter
Finding your Vietnam partners
Mobile netizen: 34,000,000
Mobile phones subscribers : 146,000,000
Internet phone: 18,000,000
3G subscribers : 19,300,000
iOS & Android phones: 13,000,000
service ARPU: $ 4.1
31,000,000 from 15 - 35 years old
$1,300 GDP per capita
51% male, 49% female
Hight-competitive telecom market
4/5 networks belong to Government. 96% market
share is taken by the big 3: Viettel, Mobifone,
Vinaphone. Both Mobifone & Vinaphone belong
to VNPT Corporation.
Viettel is the number 1 for users quantity but
Mobifone has the highest ARPU and large
proportion of users in big urban.
2 telcos had been disappeared, 3 telcos had
been suspended the permission from 2010.
As the result of the war of telcos, the mobile
price is very cheap & the revenue traditional
service who takes at least 50 %.
84% users with pre-paid plan.
So, Operators have to maintain or increase
ARPU by introducing more new value-added
services & take more from carrier billing fee
= $ 2.4
For unlimited 3G service
= $ 0.1
For 1 minutes calling service
= $ 0.01
Online payment wait for booming
When e-commerce is booming in Vietnam
(from $300 million in 2011 to an estimated $2.5
billion by the end of 2015), the online
payments market has been slow due to the
popularity of COD (cash-on-delivery).
While young people are more willing to spend
money online, they do not have much
purchasing power yet and the older
generation is not willing to do so.
Despite these barriers, there are more and
more service providers emerging in Vietnam
which may slowly change the trend by giving
consumers a good reason to pay online.
More convenient, co-existent with cash &
good discount are 3 big points that online
payment attracts more users.
57M ATM cards
3.6M credit cards
8M virtual cash accounts
9% penetration Transaction fee of online payment
The rising of Android phone
iPhone is the symbol for smartphones in Vietnam during 2009-2011 and remain the 1st position on
market. Apple products are always honor and a symbol of luxury, stylish. Only when the low-end
Android line configuration was good and cheap alternative series phone java phones
Until now, the iPhone is still the leading smartphone brands with approximately 40% market share,
Android with 30 brands go second for 60% is led by Samsung, LG, Q-Mobile, HKphone.
The level of pay is higher than iPhone users who use Android but the situation is improving a lot,
some multi-platform product sales Android recently overtook iOS users.
It is expected that Android has a very high growth rate in the third division being: high, intermediate,
low, and will account for about 80% market share in 2 years
Mobile advertising - the rising star
Digital advertising (including mobile advertising)
reached only 5% of advertising budget in Vietnam in
2012 (1 Billion USD) but mobile advertising is growing
fast in 2013.
On average, mobile web users in Vietnam consume
4.5 hours of media daily, of which 35% represent
mobile devices, mobile advertising is now a trending
for mobile service also FMCG.
SMS is the first type of mobile advertising & now the
most popular with million messages delivered to
customers each & every day.
Ads CTR rate is very high, appropriate 0,1% -0,5%.
Price of CPC 2,000 – 4,000 VND , price of CPM
from 8,000 – 40,000 VND. Advertising Rates are
generally higher compared to the world in the
The discount rate is about 30% if you buy a large
quantity from Vietnamese partners
Type Average Price
CPC 800 – 4,000 VND = 0.04 - 0.2 USD
CPM 8,000 - 45,000 VND = 0.4 - 2.1 USD
CPI 10,000 – 20,000 VND = 0.5 - 1 USD
ECPI 15,000 – 30,000 VND = 0.7 – 1.4 USD
CPA From 40,000 VND = From 1.9 USD
Top site by traffic (alphabetical order) Average Price for Mobile ads 12
Fast growing market
The smartphone increased 50% last year while the revenue from online mobile game had an
explosive growth. Now, we have 15.000+ apps for smartphone, 100+ online mobile games in the
market. The revenue is about 70 million USD for the both online & offline mobile game.
The falling of high-class smartphone price will propel the growth in near future. The eco-system for
business has established many years ago could help foreign developers to entering this market.
High consumer level
Vietnamese users have a higher app consumption than US users. Games are the most favorite
mobile content. The pornography content is very hot with java phone but not with smartphones
How many apps you downloaded the last 30 days
User is really active
Browsing the app store is the most common method for users to find out new apps. 42% of users use
the recommendations from friends and families to find new apps. Android users are more likely to
look up reviews for apps on mobile websites.
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
How Vietnamese users discover the new app?
War of OTTs app
The first & No.1 chat app in
market. More than 3.5M
Favorite by Korean-biz fans
& young smartphone users
with many casual games
Favorite by young
smartphone users with cool
sticker & good brand
Vietnamese chat app by
giant internet company
VNG. Promoting by a lot of
The war off OTTs began in late of 2012 with the media covering of Line, Kakao talk & Zalo. These 3
apps have paid million $ to become the No.1 in the market. Line & Kakao & Zalo has lauched their
own GMO as Line Pop, Kakao Tiny Pang. In near future, these app will become the important
channel to promote a GMO.
GMO – the new ocean
Since the slowdown of the PC gaming market,
along with the development of smartphone
market, GMO does a boom quickly. With over
100 products in Vietnam market and will be
around 150 products in the end of 2013.
Not only publisher specializing in mobile game
as MeCorp or TeaMobi, all the giants were
involved in the market. Currently, the top
game sales are still gamble game but in near
future, the rate will be changed rapidly.
The competition is becoming more intense, but
GMO is still a new market and with many
potential users. The fee for releashing a GMO is
much smaller than a PC game, so many
publishers could join the market.
Users also prefer the popular game on the PC
platform, especially classic games such as MU
Online, JX Online, Gunbound, TS Online,
WarFlow… The average ARPU ~ $ 2 / month.
Most of the game has a life cycle ~ 6 months
Fun facts about Vietnamese gamer
Hard trainer: GMO & PC games gamer is
similar, the ability to draft a world champion
(lots of world game servers was occupied
between the top position by Vietnamese).
Girl posing: Gamers like posing as a girl in
game, so they could receive many helps from
PK ( player kill) the weakers: Gamers often like
PK the weaker to show their strengths.
Complains: Gamers always complain about
the game, the publisher & they threat to leave
but no, they still playing game & joining in all
In other markets, iTunes and Google Play usually takes majority market share and bringing
products to market first is fairly simple.
However, in Vietnam market it is more complicated, depending on the period time by 60-90% iOS
users jailbreak their devices and use regularly supply application resource other than iTunes. For
Android users, although Google Play is still the main channel to search for and download
applications, the users also have many different options with the dozens of downloading stores
and the internet communities provide file setting in free way.
The complexity and fragmentation of the smartphone market in Vietnam bring many difficulties
but also create opportunities for developers. When downloading stores has cooperation policies
which are flexible, they are ready to deliver your product to each user by different ways of
advertising that can not be done with iTunes and Google Play.
IntroductionVIETNAM MARKET ENTRY
Challenges in publishing app in Vietnam
VIETNAM MARKET ENTRY
Freemium is a hot trending
iAP app gain 10X more than PPD app, especially on Android. Paid app are easily pirated.
Like many other markets, Vietnam application market for smartphone is not favored for
paying to download the application.
According to statistics published in 06/2012 of Appota, only 3-5% of the revenue from our
applications by distributing the application from PPD and this ratio tends to decrease.
We strongly recommend you freemium model also a small game.
Integrate full payment tool
Beside the international payment card, the other payment forms are very popular in Vietnam:
SMS, scratch card, e-wallet, internet banking, multi card. As the most common form but SMS has
the highest fee level (50-70% value), other forms have fee level ranges from 5-15% of the value.
Currently, many products tend to collect money in the other form than SMS to ensure the
profitability of the developers but SMS still is your form of payment which you should be had due to
the flexibility and popularity of its.
We strongly recommend you to use SMS for small transaction, scratch card for big transaction.
Use at least 2 gateways to ensure that your products run probably.
Social network integration is important
Facebook is still the largest social network and most frequently used, although other social
networks have many users, but the cohesion between members sporadic. So your application
when released in Vietnam just add Facebook API is enough.
Building community for players (fanpage, forums) need to do immediately in the process of
preparing the eye. Chat to exchange information about game is a popular habit, it's best to
create a user community to exchange, which will help you to easily control the information later.
We strongly recommend you to integrate Facebook to app & ennable open ID.
Need for localization
Localization is the most essential with games have a lot of scripts. Although the majority of
gamers can use English in basic way, playing games with this language or even Vietnamese
button caused great sympathy. It does not take too much time and cost is cheap.
We strongly recommend you to re-script your game & add some specific contents for
Ordinary Emoticon Hot girl Vietnam Emoticon
Right distribution channel
The distribution channel fragmentation makes the delivery one applications/ games in
Vietnam market is more complex, but also create opportunities for developers when they
have chance to promote to users from the download stores that you can not accomplish on
iTunes or Google Play. AppStore.Vn is now the largest community, with over 8.4 million users in
which is more than 3.5 million active users every month, which was considered the largest
download app store for iOS and the second largest for Android in Vietnam.
We strongly recommend you to focus on 3rd marketplaces like AppStoreVn, Vimarket…
Vietnam is not China
Influenced by Chinese culture, because of many historical reasons, however, the modern
culture of Vietnam suffers from many other streams, especially the United States. Unable to
apply the rules, content from China to Vietnam users.
Plese remind that, the “taste” of Vietnamese users are not similar to Chinese players or
We strongly recommend you ask an expert about the differences between Vietnamese
culture & Chinese culture, make market research as deep as you can.
Corporate with wap network
The small wap-site system is an important advertising channel for low-level machines which run
Android, these are users who still keep habit from using java in previous time.
There are thousand wap-sites with simple content who attract milion users every day.You could
contact with some wapmaster networks to push your promotion to all of their users.
We strongly recommend you to try corporate with many wap-networks if your products can run
on low-end device.
Try CPA advertising
Ads via SMS is very popular with the game of gambling form, online games. However, this method
likely causes the feeling from customers and suffered the restriction from the government.
CPM remains the second preferred form with domestic enterprises while foreign companies prefer
eCPI and CPA. However, forms of CPA is relatively new and the local partners almost have not
supported yet. Some partners support the CPA : Golden Sun, Appota…
We strongly recommend you to try CPA model for easier tracking & measuring the result.
CPC CPM CPI CPA
Joining the start-up community is an easy way to finding market info & getting new partners.
Some common communities are: Mobile Day, Mobile Monday, bar camp, start-up weekend.
Check carefully with the payment gateway about the time you could receive all the money.
The co-publishing & re-publishing are very popular, so you should help your partner to make
multiple version of your product.
Partner GuideVIETNAM PARTNER
Appota – The first smartphone content delivery, the exclusive partner of AppStoreVn. Appota
in charged of full pack service for games/apps publish in Vietnam.
Kichhoat & Mwork are 2 companies who have wap-network with million java low-end users.
VTC Online: One of the top game publisher on PC, VTC started their mobile game business
Soha game: From VCCorp - a very big internet company in Vietnam. Sohagme has a big
community from VCC’s e-commerce & entertainment site.
Dentsu – Worldwide advertising agency, one of the first international company who tries
mobile marketing in Vietnam.
Goldsun Focus Media: a member of Goldsun Group who dominates the out-door ads. This
company has a big inventory of smartphone users from prestige online press like Tuoitre,
VseV: International company who has a lot of inventory from free Android app in Vietnam.
InMobi : Top mobile advertiser in the world.
Action.vn – Exclusive ICT news from Vietnam. Action is also a consultant for whom want to join
Topica education: The company who brings the “founder institute” programme in Vietnam
IDG venture: Biggest venture-funds in Vietnam who has a large porfolio from hundred
company in tech-industry
AiTi Aptech : One of the best education centre for mobile industry, also an professional
organizer for severals events as Mobile Monday, Mobile day…
Please email us at: email@example.com to get full version
Feel free to leave your comments and feedbacks in this post
Deliver Mobile Content
Fastest & Most effective
International research group
Hanoi, Aug 2013