Vietnamese can't wait for official rollout, pay for ChatGPT accounts using VPN

By Khuong Nha   February 5, 2023 | 07:56 pm PT
Vietnamese can't wait for official rollout, pay for ChatGPT accounts using VPN
A person offers to set up three ChatGPT accounts for VND150,000 each on February 3, 2023.
With ChatGPT still not available in Vietnam, service providers are offering to set up accounts for fees of up to VND200,000 (US$8.52).

Seeing friends chat with the artificial intelligence-based chatbot provided by U.S. startup OpenAI, Hong Nhung, an office clerk in the central city of Da Nang, tried to create an account.

However, in Vietnam, the only way yet to set up an account is by using a virtual private network (VPN) and getting a foreign phone number.

Since she was unable to do it by herself, Nhung turned to service providers. "Some people say they will do it for free, some say they will do it for a cup of coffee but others charge VND20,000 to VND200,000," she said.

In the end she managed to set up an account for VND20,000.

Dong Quan, the administrator of a ChatGPT group with more than 20,000 members, said demand increased sharply a week ago.

There are dozens of posts about selling accounts and how to use the chatbot on the online group every day, and each attracts hundreds of comments, he said.

The price varies based on the flexibility to change passwords and other benefits, he explained.
OpenAI’s has said users can start experimenting with $18 in free credit that can be used during their first three months.

Some sell the same account to many users, even take free accounts shared on online groups and sell them at high prices.

Quan said his group has received reports of some people paying money but not getting an account and others tricked into clicking on fake links and losing their email accounts.

Experts suggest people should not pay more than a few tens of thousands of dong for an account or should register with their own email address to get permanent use.

For service providers, creating an account on OpenAI takes just a couple of minutes, and the cost of messaging is VND3,000.

According to AI engineer Nguyen Hoang Bao Dai, ChatGPT has become popular globally and in Vietnam because this is the first time people have access to a large AI model.

ChatGPT not only chats normally like traditional chatbots, but also searches, processes information and responds precisely and instantly. Its ability to keep the chat smooth and easy-to-use interface are other factors.

Data from Similar Web shows that within two months of its launch, ChatGPT has reached 100 million users.
According to Sensor Tower, TikTok needed nine months to reach 100 million users, Instagram needed 2.5 years and Google Translate 6.5 years.

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