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Why is the VIA scam market bustling in Vietnam?



The Facebooker community in Vietnam uses the term VIA, which refers to real accounts hacked and used by others to run ads or do anything else on Facebook.

It’s unclear how the concept originated. But it is clear that it is used only in Vietnam. If searching for ‘VIA’ on any search engine, one will receive results in Vietnamese language.

Why is the VIA scam market bustling in Vietnam?

VIA is understood as ‘verified information accounts’, which means accounts verified by Facebook. This means that users’ information has been verified by Facebook. There is information on registered mobile phones, ID cards and other personal documents.

VIA is used for different purposes. Previously, VIA was used by scammers to fool people into transferring money to them, appropriate scratch cards, and increase interactions for posts.

If someone complains that their blue check mark (indicating that it has been verified) has been hacked, it may have actually been turned into a VIA for scammers to exploit.

Nowadays, VIA is used to run ads. The demand for VIA for this purpose is high from those who want to escape policy violations and boost sales via Facebook, especially in the Covid-19 period.

The typical characteristic of these VIAs is that while the real owners of the accounts use Facebook as usual, scammers appropriating the accounts are running ads quietly. In other words, these VIAs have at least two owners.

It is easy for a blue check mark to become a VIA. In addition to the usual ways of password exposure, the granting of the right to access apps and the participation in divination games can also lead to a risk of token exposure, which leads to the loss of the right to control Facebook accounts.

Another risk comes from accepting cookies and exposing this information. Cookies remember browser information so that users don’t have to enter their passwords every time they log in.

With the use of revealed, shared or weak passwords, and the lack of attention to personal information security, Vietnamese Facebook users could be a VIA of someone else.

Facebook has to regularly create checkpoints which ask users to confirm unusual activities on their verified accounts and tell them to change passwords as well as log out of all devices.

Many Facebook accounts can be the targets of scammers.

The VIA market in Vietnam is bustling, with ‘commodities’ from Asia to Europe, from old to newly set up accounts.

With only several thousand to tens of thousands of dong, one can buy a VIA with an advertised ‘lifetime warranty’. 

Phuong Nguyen



Grab considers U.S. IPO this year to raise at least $2 bln

Southeast Asian ride-hailing and food delivery giant is considering a listing in the United States this year, encouraged by robust investor appetite for IPO, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.



Grab’s IPO could raise at least $2 billion, one of the sources said, which would likely make it the largest overseas share offering by a Southeast Asian company.

“The market is good and the business is doing better than before. This should work well for public markets,” he said.

The plans, including the size of the issue and timing, have not been finalised and are subject to market conditions, said the sources, who declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak about the matter.

Singapore-based Grab declined comment on the potential IPO.

Grab, whose backers include SoftBank Group Corp and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, has expanded rapidly from its beginnings as a ride-hailing venture in Malaysia in 2012 to become the region’s most valuable startup worth more than $16 billion.

The company has raised more than $10 billion as it becomes a one-stop shop for services such as food delivery, payments and insurance in Southeast Asia, home to about 650 million people. It recently gained a digital bank licence in Singapore.

Grab’s total group net revenue jumped by about 70% year on year in 2020 and has recovered to be comfortably above pre-pandemic levels.

Moody’s said this month Grab had cash holdings of about $3.2 billion, which the ratings agency “expects will be sufficient to cover negative operating cash flow, capital spending at its transport and food delivery businesses and scheduled debt maturities over at least the next two-three years.”

One of the sources said he expects Grab’s IPO to raise substantially more than $2 billion as some of its long-term investors trim stakes and new investors come on board.

Grab has said its ride-hailing business is breaking even in all its operating markets, including Indonesia, the biggest. It expects its food delivery business to break even by the end of 2021.

The IPO plans would come after merger discussions with Indonesian rival Gojek were derailed.

Gojek and Indonesian e-commerce leader Tokopedia are in advanced talks for a $18 billion merger ahead of a potential dual listing in Jakarta and the United States, Reuters reported this month.

As consumers increasingly adopt online services amid lockdowns to prevent the coronavirus from spreading, investors are paying more focus on market leaders.

Grab caught global attention when Uber sold its Southeast Asia business to the company in 2018 after a costly five-year battle and in return took a stake in Grab.

It now operates in 397 cities across eight Southeast Asian countries and its app has seen 214 million downloads. Grab’s food delivery business overtook the mature transport division to become the company’s biggest segment last year.

“It’s quite clear that investors are rewarding growth and market share,” said the second source, pointing to a 15-fold surge in shares of Singapore-based e-commerce, gaming and payments firm Sea since its 2017 listing in New York.

Source: Reuters


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New partnership to reduce greenhouse gas in building



Representatives of the German Development Co-operation-GIZ Việt Nam and the Ministry of Construction’s Housing and Real Estate Market Management Bureau (HREM) sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). — Photo courtesy GIZ-Viet Nam

ĐÀ NẴNG – European property developers are working with Việt Nam’s Ministry of Construction to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the residential property sector. 

The German Development Co-operation-GIZ Việt Nam and the Ministry of Construction’s Housing and Real Estate Market Management Bureau (HREM) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for co-operation on the joint development of the Vietnam Green Housing Programme (VGHP) under the implementation of the Programme for Energy Efficiency in Buildings (PEEB) in Việt Nam.

The MoU focuses on enabling greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions mitigation.

GIZ said the VGHP, which is supported through the GIZ Programme for Energy Efficiency in Buildings (PEEB) in Việt Nam, aims to benefit the mid-income housing market by targeting the low-cost commercial housing segment.

Under the partnership, GIZ and HREM will develop and implement the Vietnam Green Housing Programme. A particular focus of the programme is improving energy efficiency and reducing GHG emissions in the affordable housing market as per Việt Nam’s commitment in its Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. 

Through the Việt Nam Green Housing Programme, the partnership aims to motivate private housing developers to move into the market for energy-efficient and green buildings, and stimulate local commercial banks to develop green financing products for both housing developers and homebuyers, as well as green equipment and material suppliers in the low-cost commercial housing segment.

In Việt Nam, the total production value of the construction sector reached VNĐ358.6 trillion (US$15.6 billion), contributing 5.94 per cent of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019.

As an emerging economy, Việt Nam is expected to see a dramatic increase in demand for spacious and comfortable residential property due to the rapid growth of the middle class with approximately 50 million square meters of housing added in 2019.

“As the potential for GHG emissions reduction through energy efficiency in the construction sector is enormous, this cooperative endeavour will contribute to Việt Nam’s aim of reducing GHG emissions,” said Kia Fariborz, Chief Technical Advisor of the ‘Support Programme for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement (SIPA)’. 

Deputy Director General of HREM, Hà Quang Hùng highly appreciated the initiative for integrating PEEB’s goal of energy efficiency and low emissions with the Government’s goal of low-cost commercial housing development.

According to calculations, within 10 years after reaching the target, apartment buildings will save about 6.3 billion kWh (kilowatts per hour) of electricity, equivalent to VNĐ15.8 trillion ($687 million). This is a significant cost saving that will benefit the homebuyers if they use energy efficiently in the apartment. In addition, in the short term, the programme will create a plentiful supply of low-cost commercial housing, thereby facilitating the people’s access to affordable housing.

The PEEB is a joint initiative between Germany and France that combines consulting, financial resources, and technical expertise from GIZ, French Development Agency (AFD), and Agency for Ecological Transition (ADEME) to help partner countries increase energy efficiency in buildings. The PEEB aims to minimise energy demand in buildings at reasonable incremental costs, promote green investment in energy efficient buildings, and facilitate access to green financing from international and local financial institutions.

In Việt Nam, the PEEB focuses on green housing programs and large-scale commercial buildings.


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Forest worker inspires people to love the wild




Nguyễn Tấn Truyền with his butterfly collection. Photo

CÀ MAU ­— Vồ Dơi National Park in southern Cà Mau Province’s U Minh District is a home to hundreds of rare and precious fauna and flora.

And there are also plenty of people working here who love to care for animals, plants and trees.

They are silviculture engineers who are trained to understand the value of primeval forests for human life on Earth.

Nguyễn Tấn Truyền is one of them.

Joining the park’s staff 10 years ago, Truyền amazed his colleagues with his deep love of the precious nature.

One story sticks in their minds.

In 2010, on the way of patrolling the forest, Truyền found a young monkey who had lost his herd.

He took him to his home, fed and raised him as if he was his own baby. He even gave him a name, Titi.

Titi grew up and became very close to Truyền. But one day, Truyền found Titi’s herd and released him to the wild.

Now talking about Truyền, the staff of Vồ Dơi Park picture a slim built man who spends all day working with conservation and biodiversity.

Sometimes, people saw him chasing butterflies or bringing a tree sapling for nurturing at his home.

He was only interested in talking about birds, animals and plants and encouraging people not to eat wild animals.


Gradually, he became an influence to the park’s staff and locals.

Knowing his need to study animals, people would collect butterflies for him, or unusual animals they discovered.

Other times they would report new sighting or discoveries, knowing Truyền would want to investigate and study.

Recently, Truyền just discovered the appearance of rare fishing cats for the first time in the park.

“The staff on the patrol saw it by accident. Then, I set up a photo trap to collect images of it,” Truyền said.

“That was a very rare species noted in the World Red Book,” he said.

More animal release to wild

Local resident Dương Văn Nhã, once caught a beautiful reticulated python while working in rice field.

In the past he would not think twice about killing it for its meat, not today. Thanks to Truyền’s influence, Nhã released the snake to the wild.

A similar story occurred in Sóc Trăng Province when visitors brought two pangolins for release into the forest, even though on the black market they could have been sold for a high price. 

In recent years, people have brought more and more rare birds and animals to return them to the wild, said the park’s director Huỳnh Minh Nguyên.

These gestures meant that there was a very positive change of people over wildlife protection, said Nguyên.  



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