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Is it time for next-generation social networks?



Every technological product has its life cycle…

Is it time for next-generation social networks?

From Myspace to Facebook

When Myspace was launched in 2003, the social network quickly attracted 1 million and then 25 million users in the next two years to become the dominant platform worldwide. There were over 100 million users a month in its golden days.

At that time, on the Harvard University campus, another social network created by students also made its debut. Just several years later, the entire world knew Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg, while Myspace fell into oblivion.

Facebook brings opportunities to connect with anyone on the planet. However, it has also become a place from which fake news, conspiracy theories, piracy, and hostile language are disseminated.

Facebook sets up its rules called community standards. It has the right to change the rules and redefine the standards for social media that might go against basic ethical values.

However, what Facebook has been doing in recent years is trying to collect as much information from users as possible to serve the sale of ads. Meanwhile, privacy, according to Facebook’s founder, is no longer a social norm.

Users in general have become accustomed to the fact that privacy becomes something easily compromised in the internet environment. However, only when scandals like Cambridge Analytica were discovered did the importance of personal information protection receive appropriate attention.

Facebook is facing uncertainties as Apple has changed its policy on warning about users’ data collection on iOS products. Apple itself is facing a privacy lawsuit in Europe, based on new EU rules.

Millions of users are quietly leaving Facebook for smaller networks, called alt-techs. MeWe, Uhive, Stallios and Social are setting new standards for social networks.

Vietnamese social networks

The Vietnamese social networks developed recently such as Lotus and Gapo have attracted users thanks to policies on complying with the laws, respecting users, and controlling bad content.

But Tik Tok has emerged as an alternative candidate to Facebook. In Vietnam, there are about 12 million Tik Tok users, and most of them belong to Z Gen, or those born between 1996 and 2005.

The four distinctive features of local Vietnamese social networks are:

First, they act as platforms, so they will share revenue with users.

Second, they use ‘filtration’ tools, so they are ‘clean’.

Third, they make their algorithms public.

Fourth, they allow development of some platforms based on the parent platforms in order to develop small communities with special cultural features. 

Hai Dang



Vinfast, Be Group, Digital Bank Cake by VPBank team up to support Be drivers switching to electric vehicles

Vinfast, an EV arm of Vietnam’s largest private conglomerate Vingroup, ride-hailing app Be Group, and Cake by VPBank digital bank have agreed to support Be drivers switching to electric vehicles.



Be, the on-demand multi-service consumer platform has formally signed a collaboration agreement with VinFast and the Cake by VPBank digital bank to encourage beBike drivers to migrate from fuel to electric motorcycles. The collaboration is part of an effort to further the green transformation trend. 

As a result of this cooperation, thousands of Be drivers will directly benefit from VinFast’s support policies as well as have the opportunity to access optimal financial solutions from Cake by VPBank.

According to the first phase of the collaboration agreement, VinFast will assist Be drivers in moving from gasoline motorcycles to VinFast Feliz S electric motorcycles by granting a 4% discount on the quoted price for each motorcycle. Furthermore, Be drivers will benefit from all other VinFast stimulation programs in accordance with the company’s general strategy.

Cake by VPBank Digital Bank offers Be drivers cutting-edge digital financing options to buy VinFast Feliz S at 0% interest. For instance, the loan application and approval process can be completed online in minutes without visiting a bank.

“The cooperation agreement of VinFast – Be Group – Cake by VPBank gives Be drivers the opportunity to own and use smart, modern, environmentally friendly electric motorbikes with optimal costs, simple and convenient procedures. This cooperation will give customers access to safe and refined transportation alternatives, contributing directly to the Government’s net-zero carbon emission target by 2050,” said Ms. Ho Thanh Huong, CEO of VinFast Vietnam. 

Thanks to the expertise and capabilities of the multi-service consumer platform Be, Be Group is confident in striving for higher targets in popularizing the culture of “green vehicles”. 

Ms. Vu Hoang Yen – CEO of Be Group shared: “After the initial phase of collaboration, working with the GSM partner yielded a lot of positive signals and outcomes. In particular, the total number of electric taxi trips has seen steady growth. It now represents 6% of all car-trips in Be (compared to an average 2 – 5 per cent EV trip contribution of other ride-hailing platforms). Be hopes and expects to promote the plan to achieve the greater objective of popularizing the practice of utilizing green cars for Be drivers and encouraging the growth of green transportation across the country. Be will keep introducing products and services that are more suited to the demands of Vietnamese consumers in the future.”

Observations about the newly signed cooperation agreement, Mr. Nguyen Huu Quang – CEO of Cake by VPBank, stated: “The program brings fast, creative credit financing solutions, with the highest benefits for drivers. In particular, the trio-party cooperation between Cake – Be – VinFast will open up a development strategy in all aspects between Vietnam’s leading financial, technology, and manufacturing enterprises to promote comprehensive digital services, popularize electric vehicles, and foster environmental protection. In the near future, Cake will keep working with VinFast to research the best financing options  for customers  looking to acquire electric automobiles.”


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English-learning app ELSA gets $23m in Series C funding

The English language learning platform ELSA said it has raised $23 million in Series C funds, bringing ELSA’s total raised so far to $60 million, according to TechCrunch.



UOB Venture Management led the funding round, and UniPresident, Aozora Bank, Vietnam Investments Group (VIG), and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) also took part. Gradient Ventures, which is Google’s AI-focused fund, Monk’s Hill Ventures, and Global Ventures all came back as partners. 

Clarissa Loh, a senior director at UOB, joined ELSA’s board of directors after the deal. The last time ELSA got money was in January 2021, when a $15 million Series B round of funding was announced. The startup has locations in San Francisco, Lisbon, and Ho Chi Minh City.

In an email to TechCrunch, ELSA founder and CEO Vu Van said that the money would be used “to support and grow our platform and expand our global offering.” For example, the funding would be used “to grow further in Taiwan with our new investors, expand to the Middle East and Turkey, build on our success with students in Japan, and increase our focus on B2B.” English is the most important skill for most jobs around the world, and we want to help more people improve their English skills so they can join the global job market.

ELSA, founded in 2016, offers personalized speaking lessons, test preparation, and a speech analyzer, along with a voice-based AI tutor featuring role-play scenarios. Artificial intelligence is expected to pave a new way forward for the education industry. 


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Vietnam among world’s top 10 cheapest countries for EV charging

Vietnam is fifth on the list of the 10 cheapest countries to charge an electric car, according to a survey by Australia’s Compare the Market.



The study looked at how much it costs to charge the newest Hyundai Kona EV in 50 countries around the world. The countries were ranked by how much energy they used per 100 kilometers of driving. It also figured out how much you could save on gas if you drove an EV instead of a car with an internal combustion engine.

According to the study, Vietnamese people who own EVs only spend AUD1.55, or about $1, for every 100 kilometers of driving.

The cheapest place to fully charge an EV is Argentina, where it costs $0.70. Malaysia and India are next on the list, with prices of $0.97 and $1.42, respectively.

The countries with the most expensive EV charging costs were picked to be Denmark and Italy, where a full charge for the same type of EV costs $11.26.

In 2022, only 2.9% of vehicles in Vietnam were electric. The rate was expected to hit 13.6% by 2030 because both local and foreign companies would increase their production.

BMI Research, a part of Fitch Solutions, predicts that sales of electric vehicles will grow by an average of 25.8% per year from 2023 to 2032. By 2032, they could reach up to 65,000 units, which is a nearly eight-fold increase from 2022.

From 2023 to 2032, when VinFast, Wuling HongGuang, Skoda, and Hyundai EVs will be made, the market will grow quickly, the report said.

The EV charge network in Vietnam is growing, and even though VinFast is the leader in this field right now, there will be more competitors starting this year.

Foxconn had said before that it would spend $250 million to build a plant in Vietnam that would charge electric vehicles and make parts for them. This would help the charging business grow more quickly.

Source: VGP


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