Google trends show Vietnamese big on weather, Asian pop culture

By Nguyen Quy   December 12, 2019 | 04:45 am PT
Google trends show Vietnamese big on weather, Asian pop culture
People use sacks of sand to strengthen the coast in Quy Nhon as storm Nakri nears on November 10, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
Weather conditions have been confirmed the top concern among Vietnamese Googlers, local pop culture dominating the rest of searches.

Vietnam was hit by some extreme weather conditions this year.

With mercury levels soaring to record highs, the country experienced a summer that could be described the hottest in its history. Average temperatures eclipsed those of previous years by 0.5-1 degrees Celsius, hitting an average 39-42 degrees in many parts.

Huong Khe District in central Ha Tinh Province reported a record 43.4 degree Celsius, or 110 degrees Fahrenheit, the highest temperature ever measured locally.

Air quality in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi soared from bad to worse this year with pollution indexes in both cities nearing "dangerous levels" to create widespread health concerns.

HCMC was hit by record high tides late September while historic flooding struck in unusual spots like Phu Quoc and Da Lat.

Topping the most-searched news list this year was typhoon Nakri, forecast to be the strongest East Sea storm of the year with wind speeds of 115 kph.

The storm made landfall in central Vietnam between Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa provinces last month, killing two people.

Asian Cup 2019 was the second most searched for term, with the Vietnam men’s football team having made the quarterfinals with a solitary goal loss to four-time champions Japan last January, winning the hearts of fans and football critics alike.

Google data also revealed Vietnamese are hooked on "Empress Ki", a South Korean historical television drama, the third top search topic, with Thai series "Flying leaf" at sixth and "Go Go Squid", a Chinese love story, ranked eighth.

"Hay Trao Cho Anh" (Give It To Me) by Vietnamese pop sensation Son Tung M-TP, released on July 1 this year, featuring Snoop Dogg and Madison Beer, came ninth, while Marvel villain Thanos wrapped up the top 10 searches.

Browsers also showed concern over the health of Party chief and President Nguyen Phu Trong who suffered a setback while touring southern Kien Giang Province on April 13-14.

The president topped the list of people most searched for during the year. North Korean chairman Kim Jong-un featured fifth on the list, having visited Hanoi last February for the second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, which ended with no deals inked due to disagreement over sanctions imposed on North Korea.

News of 39 Vietnamese found dead in a refrigerated truck in Essex, northeast of London, on October 23 also drew a lot of online interest. Their remains were brought home last month.

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

Around 64 million users, or over half the country's population, are online.

Global Google's top search trends for 2019 included India vs South Africa, a cricket game abandoned due to heavy rain, Copa America, Game of Thrones, Joker, Avengers: Endgame, iPhone 11 and Notre Dame.

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