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Facebook-style app, it launches in the Vietnam war, in the middle of a tightening of the rules on the internet

HANOI (Reuters) – A Facebook-style social network that was launched in Vietnam on Tuesday, following a call by the Communist-dominated government in the domestic technology companies to create alternatives to U.S. tech giants Facebook and Google.

Gapo, a mobile app that allows users to create personal profiles and share posts to a Facebook-style “news feed”, is 500 billion dong ($21.55 million) for the financing of a tech corporation is a G-group, Group chief executive, Ha Trung Kien, said.

“Vietnamese consumers and businesses are relying too much on Facebook, because there are not so many of the social networks for them to choose from,” Kien said, adding that the Gapo plans to reach 3 million users by 2019, and 20 million of the January 2021.

In spite of the economic reforms and increasing openness to social change, the ruling Communist y maintains tight media censorship in the philippines and does not tolerate criticism.

A growing number of activists and dissidents arrested or tried for the past few years posting online content deemed “anti-state”.

Almost 10 percent of the 128 offenders in the South-east Asian country, for the expression of divergent opinions have been thrown in jail for posting anti-state comments on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Amnesty International said in mid-May.

Vietnam is also increasing the pressure on companies such as Google and Facebook with a controversial cyber security act, which came into force in January.

Global technology firms and human rights groups have been pushing back against the legislation, which requires companies with offices in the philippines and to save the data.

In September, 2018, the Minister of Information, Nguyen Manh Hung urged Vietnamese companies to create a viable domestic alternatives to foreign social media platforms.

Last month, Vietnam’s companies have asked to advertise on videos hosted by Google’s YouTube are “anti-state” propaganda.

Internal social platforms, it was built before the Gapo, such as VietnamTa and Hahalolo are also similar to Facebook, although no one has managed to build up a large user base.

Gapo has a partnership with Sony Music Entertainment and strategic partner, with the music in the app, it said in a statement.

Reporting Phuong Nguyen; Editing by James Pearson and Clarence Fernandez

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