VIETNAM: Modernization Abomination

YVONNE EPPS WRITES— It seems that 2015 is beginning to look promising for the modernization of Vietnam’s regime. It’s true that you can’t ban social media, but you can always issue regulations that squeeze the life out of the industry.

Mike Ives of the New York Times recently wrote about the suffocating regulations that beat down the spirit of the booming technology industry in Vietnam. Despite the regime’s attempt to modernize, technology entrepreneurs have been struggling. The legacy of Flappy Bird is a testament to that fact, but regulations are overpowering their creative license.

A good example of this would be HaiVL, the 9GAG site that was sold back in October, but Ives reports that the site has been down for violations of regulations. Perhaps the growth was too rapid for the regime to handle?

Concern about the suffocating nature of the regulations surfaced this past year. Human Rights Watch wrote about the overzealous usage of regulations regarding the jailing of bloggers and rising police brutality in 2014. While the violations of human rights might differ from corporate regulations, it’s a slippery slope where tightening the noose might lead to the complete censorship of corporations.

Vietnam might be on track to modernization, but they are reflexively dealing with their booming industry in the same way that they deal with human rights. Is a deregulated society bad? Each side has its downfalls (just look at capitalism), but honest entrepreneurs that are trying to get with the times shouldn’t be stopped by the regime’s inability (and perhaps refusal) to modernize.


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