The Information Technology Journalist’s Club announced the top ten domestic information and communication technology (ICT) events for 2014 at a ceremony in Hanoi on December 29.
The list of events is as follows:
1. Flappy Bird, the Vietnamese-made mobile game created a global fever: Appearing in late January in applications for Android and iPhone, iPad, the game, created by Nguyen Ha Dong, a Vietnamese independent young game developer, became a world phenomenon. Though the creator later removed the smash-hit game from the mobile applications worldwide saying that it failed to bring excitement to players as he had expected, “Flappy Bird” was listed among the top ten keywords searched on Google in 2014. Its creator was also named in the list of top ten Internet Millionaire selected by the US entertainment website The Richest.
2. The Vietnam Communications Joint Stock Corporation (VC Corp)’s system was hacked, causing losses of VND20-30 billion (US$1.41 million): On October 13, many online newspapers and websites managed and operated by VC Corp stopped working due to hackers’ attack.
3. Mobifone was splitted from the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications (VNPT) to become a joint stock company: On June 10, the Prime Minister signed the Decision No. 888/QD-TTg approving a plan for restructuring VNPT in 2014-2015, transferring the major mobile network operator Mobifone to the management of the Ministry of Information and Communications. The movement is significant in restructuring VNPT, contributing to improving efficiency of the corporation’s operation.
4. Samsung became the largest foreign investor in Vietnam: In November, 2014, the northern province of Thai Nguyen officially granted an investment certificate to the Samsung Electronics Vietnam (SEVT) for constructing a telephone-manufacturing and assembling plant worth US$3 billion. The project lift Samsung group’ total investment in Vietnam to US$11.2 billion.
5. The Politburo issued Resolution No.36-NQ-TW replacing Directive No.58-CT/TW on IT application: The Resolution rolled out specific orientations for the country’s ICT development to 2030, considering the field as an effective tool and important driving force to spur the development of the knowledge-based economy and to improve national competitiveness in the process of international integration.
6. The website Haivl.com was shut down permanently: On October 24, the Ministry of Information and Communications permanently closed the website, and imposed a fine of VND205 million (US$9,700) on APPVL Vietnam, the website’s managing company for several violations including unlicensed operation and provision of unlicensed online games and historical distortions.
7. Viet Hong Company was discovered to have sold spy mobile softwares to thousands of customers: Investigations by Hanoi police and municipal inspectors in June found Viet Hong Company supplied its customers with two spy softwares - the Ptracker app for individuals and PtrackerERP app for businesses - since June 2013 for the purposes of collecting personal information. The company installed the software for more than 14,000 mobile subscribers.
8. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung allowed State agencies to use outsourced IT services: At the first plenary meeting of the National Committee on IT Application in June, PM Dung gave a head nod to State-run agencies to use outsourced IT services, creating a healthy competition in the sector, while helping State-agencies cut expenses and save time.
9. Uber Taxi service arrived in Vietnam, arousing widespread controversy : Uber network launched its service in Ho Chi Minh City in July and started operating in Hanoi in October this year, which triggered public debate. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has instructed the Transport Ministry to work with Ho Chi Minh City authorities to determine Uber's legal status in Vietnam.
10. The Asian-American Gateway (AAG) sub-sea cable broken many times: Vietnam’s international Internet traffic was seriously affected due to disruptions in the operation of the Asia-America Gateway (AAG) cable line. The line stopped working for one week in March for maintenance, then in July a section was damaged off the coast of Vung Tau southern city. The cable was broken again in September. The breakdowns had reduced internet traffic in Vietnam by between 40-70%.