10 pioneers who led the internet charge in Vietnam

These people are behind the arrival of the internet two decades ago, its endless expansion and popular service development. The all-male group is based on votes submitted by information technology reporters in Vietnam, business members of the Vietnam Internet Association and local readers. They are listed here in alphabetical order.

Truong Gia Binh, Board Chairman of telecom giant FPT

Truong Gia Binh launched the Food Process Technology (FPT) Vietnam Company with 12 partners in 1998, and it has gone on to become one of the top internet companies in Vietnam. FPT footprints could be found in many software and technology products in the late 1990s, before it officially became an internet service provider in 2002. By doing so it helped bring prices down by competing with the state-owned Vietnam Data Communication Company at Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group.

Nguyen Trung Chinh, CEO of IT technology corporation CMC

Nguyen Trung Chinh founded CMC, a leading telecommunications infrastructure company, since the early days of Vietnam’s reformation in the 1980s. The company made more than VND4 trillion ($175.6 million) in 2016, from business in telecommunications and cyber security services.

Nguyen Manh Hung, General Director of telecom giant Viettel

The military-run telecom company also entered the internet market in 2002 and has been a prominent provider of wireless mobile telecommunications technology ever since. It established nationwide 2G coverage in 2010 before expanding to 3G and then launching 4G services in December 2015.

Tran Manh Hung, Chairman of telecom giant VNPT

The state-owned Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) is another big player in Vietnam’s internet market, and is best known for fiber-optic communications. Its subsidiary Vinaphone had the widest 3G coverage in Vietnam in 2016.

Vu Hoang Lien, Chairman of the Vietnam Internet Association

Vu Hoang Lien spent years leading the Vietnam Data Communication Company, the biggest internet provider in the country several years ago, before switching to his role as chairman of the Vietnam Internet Association in 2010. The group gathers organizations, businesses and individuals to develop internet services in Vietnam. It gives advice and organizes venues for conferences to help the country keep up with the latest internet trends.

Le Hong Minh, CEO of internet content provider VNG

VNG Corporation is the top provider of internet content in Vietnam. It all started with VinaGame, an online gaming platform Le Hong Minh founded in 2004. The company now owns major news site Zing, popular music site Zing MP3 and the instant messaging app Zalo, which had 80 million subscribers as of August this year.

Nguyen Tu Quang, CEO of network security company BKAV

Nguyen Tu Quang led the field of cyber security in Vietnam. He and a team at the Hanoi University of Science and Technology developed the first Vietnamese anti-virus software Bkav, which was launched on a trial basis in 1995 before it being picked up on the Windows operating system in 2001.

Le Nam Thang, Former Vice Minister of Information and Communications

Le Nam Thang spent more than 26 years working in the information and communications sector. He played a major role in ending the state monopoly and making the market more competitive, creating a boost that set the precedent for the internet boom.

Thang Duc Thang, Editor-in-Chief of news website VnExpress

VnExpress was established in 2001 as the first online newspaper in Vietnam, and thanks to Thang Duc Thang, it has become the most-read Vietnamese news site in the world. With 46 million regular readers, VnExpress hit 15.8 billion page views in 2016, according to Google Analytics. The site publishes an average of 500 pieces of news and features every day, covering a wide range of sectors ranging from breaking news and business to culture, life and global affairs. Its member site Ngoisao.net focuses on entertainment news, while Ione.net follows youth trends. The website’s English version was launched in April 2016 and was named among the top 15 English websites in terms of information quality and presentation in Southeast Asia by ASEAN UP late last year.

Mai Liem Truc, Former Vice Minister of Information and Communications

Mai Liem Truc played the most important role in setting the foundation for the internet in Vietnam. He was first introduced to the internet at a conference in the U.S. in 1991 and spent six years convincing the Vietnamese government to get connected.

By Staff reporters