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Google confirms Vietnam's biggest love is football

By Ngoc Nguyen   December 14, 2018 | 01:52 am PT
Google confirms Vietnam's biggest love is football
A Vietnamese fan, his face painted with the national flag, stands at Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur during the AFF first leg final match on December 11, 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong
Google search trends for 2018 in Vietnam show that football was the most searched topic by Vietnamese internet users.

Seven of ten top searches were related to football, according to Google data.

The football-relevant search terms included World Cup, AFF Cup, U23, ASIAD Games, and VTV6 and VTV3, the Vietnamese channels broadcasting the football championships live. Xoi Lac TV, the YouTube channel that broadcasted pirated ASIAD football matches at the start of the tournament, before Vietnam secured the broadcasting rights, was another much searched for site.

Bui Tien Dung, a goalkeeper, topped the list of people who was most searched for during the year. He proved his skills at the 2018 AFC U23 Championships held in January in China, where Vietnam finished runners-up for the first time.

Top government officials also attracted great attention from online users. Former Politburo member Dinh La Thang, who was sentenced to 30 years in jail for deliberately violating state regulations on economic management, ranked fourth in the search list. Late President Tran Dai Quang, who passed away on September 21 in Hanoi at the age of 62, was in fifth place.

Browsers have also paid a lot of attention to Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, who was voted president after the passing of Tran Dai Quang. Former Party General Secretary Do Muoi, who made great contributions to the revolutionary cause of the Party and the nation through the resistance wars and periods of national construction and defence, was also among people searched for the most. Do Muoi passed away in October.

Topping the most-searched list of news this year was Storm Usagi, which made landfall in southern Vietnam last month. It damaged 50 houses and 46 ships and boats. One man was killed by a fallen tree and the storm also caused severe flooding in HCMC and the central resort town Nha Trang.

News related to the national high school graduation exam also drew a lot of online interest. This year, one of Vietnam’s biggest national exam frauds was uncovered by investigators, who found the results of over 372 tests taken by 114 candidates in the northern provinces of Ha Giang, Son La and Hoa Binh were heavily altered.

News about the new cybersecurity law that has been passed was also among top googled items. The law requires all domestic and foreign internet-related service providers to open a representative office and maintain a customer database in servers based in Vietnam.

Google Search trends act as a cultural barometer, revealing what news, sports and events captured the nation's interest over the last year.

The world's most popular search engine turns 20 this year.

Global Google's top search trends of 2018 included the 2018 World Cup, Meghan Markle, and celebrities who died this year like Mac Miller, Stan Lee, Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade.

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