Web Site: http://www.vietnamonline.net
"Vietnam Online" Debuts as Country's First Point of Contact on the Web.
Hanoi, S.R. Vietnam -- October 15, 1997 (INB) -- As Vietnam prepares to gain widespread Internet access in the coming weeks, Vietnam Online (http://www.vietnamonline.net) is leading the way as the country's first major content provider. The site delivers news and information on Vietnam's business, travel, culture, and tourism.
According to the Los Angeles Times (10/6/97), there are only about 100,000 computers in Vietnam; and no more than a few thousand out of a population of 75 million have access to e-mail, available through a handful of local providers.
That should increase quickly as the Communist government, which controls the media, fulfills its promise to bring the country into the Information Age by the end of the century. Times writer David Lamb reported that the government will have one, state-run gateway to the Internet and will filter everything through a sort of "bamboo curtain."
Vietnam Online's key differentiator is the fact that they are actually located in Vietnam. The site is being hosted by an ISP in Hong Kong until good local access is available; but Pacific R.I.M, the company responsible for it, is located in Hanoi.
The site is divided into searchable databases highlighting business, news, travel, cultural attractions, and classifieds. The business section features directories of foreign and Vietnamese companies, foreign investment statistics, and other key business information, including the Vietnam Investment Review interactive edition. The travel section provides information about hotels, airlines, flights, embassies, and government offices. In the cultural section, visitors will find information on Vietnam's history, galleries, artists, monuments, and museums.
Vietnam Online was constructed using Lotus Domino technology. As a dynamic server, and not just Web pages linked together, the site provides a high level of interactivity. Most of the databases can be updated directly by the end-user.
"We wanted any user to be able to contribute to the accuracy of the information presented," said Michel Dauguet, General Director of Pacific R.I.M. "The Internet was meant to be a collaborative tool, and we want to stick to its original spirit. Vietnam Online offers extensive and dynamic information for business people, travelers or anyone looking for timely, qualified information on Vietnam."