Web giant on retreat in southeast Asia
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/18/2012 -- Yahoo will close its blog platform in Vietnam early next year, according to a posting on the Web portal’s blog.
Bloggers will lose access to Yahoo Blog’s Vietnamese version on Jan. 17.
A technology reporter in Ho Chi Min City, the largest city in Vietnam and formerly known as Saigon, says the move will close a chapter for Yahoo in the southeast Asian country. Just a few years ago, Yahoo and Microsoft were the only well-known Web portals.
Yahoo also was a dominating presence among social media, writes Ahn-Minh Do at TechInAsia.com. In 2009, Yahoo 360 counted its Vietnamese members in the tens of millions. Changes to the blog platform, however, alienated some users.
When Yahoo 360 was rebranded Yahoo360plus, some bloggers switched to Facebook, WordPress and Tumblr. Then Yahoo Blog replaced Yahoo360plus, and membership declined further, according to the reporter.
Yahoo’s Messenger and Mail services remain widely popular, but competition has eroded Yahoo’s following.
The Web portal giant plans to pull the plug on its Vietnamese public chat services because rivals such as Gmail, Skype, Facebook’s messaging service and Whatsapp started taking larger shares of the market.
After the retrenchment, Yahoo Search and News VN will remain available.
Yahoo’s decline in Vietnam from 2008 to 2011 likely was a result of management failings and strengthening competition, Ahn-Minh Do writes. He notes that Yahoo experienced a similar fall in Indonesia and was forced to close Koprol, a promising service that it had acquired.
Yahoo’s apparent retreat might be a sign of regrouping under a new leader, Ahn-Minh Do speculates. CEO Marissa Mayer brings a fresh perspective and a new source of potential inspiration for employees. It is unclear, however, whether Yahoo will be able to recapture its dominance in Vietnam, because its competitors already are busy developing their own loyal followings.
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