Launching social network good move, official says

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The Vietnamese government has launched its first social network website this week and an official said it was a good move.

Mang Vietnam, or the Vietnamese Network (www.goonline.vn) is managed by the Ministry of Information and Communications' Vietnam Multimedia Corporation (VTC). It focuses on educational content but also has celebrity news, games, music and photo features.

The network has met young Vietnamese people's expectations for a site with educational content as well as entertainment, said Minister of Information and Communications Le Doan Hop.

If Vietnam wants to build a strong information technology sector, the country can't go without a network of its own, he said in an interview published on VTC news website Thursday.

It was a difficult task to develop and launch the site in only 75 days, but it will be much harder to keep it running, Hop said.

According to VTC,  the Vietnamese Network can serve more than four million users and it aims to attract 40-50 percent of all social network users in the country by 2015.

"VTC is determined to make the network a popular one, or even the number one in Vietnam," he said.

"The best way for the site to compete with other rival sites is for it to become a network that is highly useful, sociable and intellectual," he said.

When asked if he will create an account on the network, Hop said "absolutely."

Social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Yahoo! 360 are among the most popular in Vietnam, especially among the young.

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