Tencent and Baidu start offering video streaming services in Vietnam

Chinese giants Tencent and Baidu have started offering VOD services in Vietnam.

Vietnamese users now can start paying for subscriptions on the video-on-demand (VOD) platforms WeTV, owned by Tencent, and iQIYI, owned by Baidu, at affordable prices. The services have become available to Vietnamese users via Apple and Google’s app stores.

As reported by local media, the availability of these new premium VOD services operated by Chinese tech giants raised some eyebrows at local providers, who are facing more foreign competitors going after the VOD market in Vietnam.

Users in Vietnam can pay directly in the app to use WeTV for as little as VND 25,000 (USD 1.08) a month or iQIYI for 49,000 VND (USD 2.13) a month. However, WeTV and iQIYI currently only provide Chinese content, with some available in Vietnamese subtitles.

These prices are even lower than what you would pay for Malaysia-based iflix, launched in Vietnam in 2017 and whose premium content comes at 59,000 VND (USD 2.56) per month. Netflix currently charges at least VND 180,000 (USD 7.8) a month for Vietnamese users. Netflix only has about 300,000 registered users in Vietnam, a fraction of the country’s 96 million population.

The Vietnamese VOD market is not an easy one to crack. Besides local competitors such as FPT Play, Clip TV, Zing TV, foreign VOD providers have to also compete with popular websites that streaming movies illegally.

And stricter upcoming regulations will make it more complicated to target Vietnamese audiences.

Vietnam is currently in the process of amending a decree that will potentially require foreign OTT providers to obtain a license issued by the Ministry of Information and Communications in order to provide services to Vietnamese users.

The VOD industry is expected to have over 400 million paying subscribers across Asia by 2022, according to estimation of AlphaBeta, a Singapore-based strategic and economic advisory firm.