Vietnam's Zalo messaging app grabs 2mln users in Myanmar

By VnExpress   October 27, 2016 | 08:24 pm PT
The homegrown platform has found great success in the burgeoning mobile market.

Myanmar now has 2 million Zalo users, according to VNG Vice President Vuong Quang Khai.

The local technology company launched Zalo in 2012 and has since become the most-downloaded mobile messaging app on Android and iOS, according to Khai.

Vietnam's population of smart phone users is forecast to hit 50 million by the end of this year making it one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. Roughly two-thirds of Vietnam’s current smart phone users chat via Zalo.

VNG's first overseas market, Myanmar, has a population of 52 million; Khai expects to capture half the country's mobile messaging 18 million mobile phone owners. VNG created Zalo to run on spotty 3G infrastructure and bargain mobile phones.

Since Myanmar's internet infrastructure remains weak, people find it fast and convenient to send messages on Zalo.

VNG estimates it spent $2 million on marketing activities in 2013 alone and will pursue the same aggressive marketing strategy in Myanmar where it has already enlisted a number of celebrity spokespeople, according to Khai.

In addition to Zalo, other international messaging platforms such as Viber, Line, Kakao Talk and WeChat are in fierce competition across the Southeast Asian market.

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