In Vietnam, a Facebook-style social network was launched on Tuesday, following the communist government’s appeals to national companies in the technology sector to create alternatives to US technology giants Facebook and Google.
Gapo, a mobile app that lets users create personal profiles and share posts to a Facebook style “news feed”, has received 500 billion dong ($21.55 million) in funding from tech corporation G-Group, its chief executive, Ha Trung Kien, said.
Gapo has teamed with Sony Music Entertainment as a strategic partner to feature music content on the app, it said in a statement.
Domestic social platforms built prior to Gapo, such as VietnamTa and Hahalolo are also similar to Facebook, although neither has managed to build a large user base.
An increasing number of activists and dissidents have been arrested or tried over the last year for posting online content considered to be “anti state”.
Nearly 10% of the 128 prisoners held in the Southeast Asian country for expressing dissenting views were jailed for posting anti-state comments on social media platforms such as Facebook, Amnesty International said in May.
Vietnam has also ramped up pressure on firms such as Google and Facebook with a controversial cyber security law that took effect in January.
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