Yahoo Internet Cafes Launch in Vietnam

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When you cannot bring the Internet to the people, bring the people to the Internet.

Yahoo Vietnam’s Yahoo! powered Internet Cafes are opening around Vietnam’s Hanoi and Ho Chi Mihn City in an effort to bring Internet to people and effectively brand Yahoo services. The Yahoo Internet cafes are sponsored by Yahoo and exclusively offer Yahoo services such as Yahoo Search & Yahoo! Questions and Answers (Yahoo Answers for Vietnam).

This is a smart and highly respected move by the Yahoo company to further expand their brand to a growing population of Internet users, by setting up storefront cafes in cities.

Sponsoring Internet cafes or Lan Houses can be a solid move in emerging Internet markets and is a bit different and more realistic than the $100 Laptop Movement which Google is sponsoring.

Cafes can pop up in poorer neighborhoods where broadband access is unheard of and representatives of the search engines can educate users with tips on how to search, check email and avoid phishing and scams, while developing a strong relationship with these new users.

If government and tax funded school systems can let search companies influence the way they teach our children to research information, why can’t they make the same effort outside of the scholastic sphere? Yahoo Vietnam is doing just that.

Nacho Hernandez is a strong advocate for search sponsored Internet Cafes and composed a Google Cafe Proposal last year outlining his thoughts on the subject. I highly suggest reading through his presentation.

The first search engine I ever used was Yahoo (a directory at the time) and I still associate it today as a starting place to the web (with the Google toolbar and Firefox search boxes in my back pocket). Strong branding goes a long way.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • Nguyen trong Tin

    Hurrah !!!!!!!!
    A small beginning for a big future.
    Best wishes.

  • giaidieuabc

    A good news for the people who using internet in Vietnam

  • Jason Vu

    Could be bad news for local players?

  • Add32

    Nice to hear that !

  • TanNg

    In Vietnam there are ten thousand of Internet cafe. Adding some new bring not thing good for us.

    This is only symbolic move for Yahoo, because most Vietnamese people already use Yahoo messenger and mail. Yahoo 360 also dominates blogging platform and social network in Vietnam (second is Opera blog).

    This is bad that Yahoo marketing team totally ignore the concern of Vietnamese bloggers that Y360 are going to shutdown, and having no action to address this concern. May be they are too busy to setup those Internet cafes.

  • Alex Le


    I totally agree with your point. Local market is flooded with internet cafes (and internet cafes are pushed to be used for other purposes as well — if you read then you’ll know). However, I see that local internet shops will be like mom and pop shops, and Yahoo will be the Walmart of internet cafes in Vietnam.

    This is not just a symbolic move for Yahoo. It’s a strategic move. Yahoo realize that in order to fight against Google and MSN, they will need to expand to other markets before any of their competitors. i18n and l8n are powerful.

    There are uncharted markets for Yahoo to explore at booming countries such as Vietnam. Effectively there’s no major player for ads serving in Vietnam. Yahoo can very much be the dominate ads platform in Vietnam, distributing targeted (Vietnamese) ads to Y360, Y!Mail, and other services. Advertising, Real estates, finance, travel, etc… tons and tons of services that can make Yahoo lots of money.

    The only question is whether Yahoo comply to the censorship that the local government enforce similar to what currently happens in China. I think it’s a yes. Nonetheless, Yahoo’s move is a highly encouraging event for Vietnam.

  • Aniq Rahman

    Would love to see Yahoo or Google bring this to the villages in developing countries of Africa and places like Bangladesh. It could save a lot of bloodshed if people have the resources to connect with the rest of the world.

  • Chandler Nguyen

    Well, i think only time can tell but personally, it might be a very good move from Yahoo.
    Through my working relationship, it seems that in terms of importance, Yahoo values the Vietnam market higher compared to Google at the moment.
    Both of them set up the Headquarter for SE Asia in SG now.
    While Yahoo can increase its revenue substantially over the next year or so, the model that Google operates right now would only be able to see substantial revenue over the next 3 to 5 yerars.

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  • Hai-Ho Tran

    If Yahoo want to give itself a respectable name in VN then start innitiating wireless internet access programs by partner up with big cities in VN, not opening up these internet cafes. Start infastructure change like working to bring broad band to the country(still at ADSL speed). Now that’s how you get ahead of Google. Anyone can open up one of these cafes!

  • dylan

    Yahoo is spending alot of cash for PR and marketing while Google is letting the merit of its products do the speaking through word of mouth. Google do not create a lot of splash, but they have quietly improved local search quality, provided low cost e-marketing solutions to SMEs wanting to find global customers, and they give free localized Google Apps to all schools and businesses which are all too happy to take the offers. Now that’s how you win over the market !

  • Vietnam Vacation

    I agree with Hai-Ho Tran. There are many wireless Internet initiatives and programs for countries like Vietnam, and other developing countries. It just needs investment and the will to make a difference to the people.
    Internet Cafes are good for people on vacation, so I don’t think we would want to miss them.

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