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10 Apr 2023

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TikTok Becoming "Toxic" in Vietnam, Government Says

“Toxic content on TikTok poses a threat to the country's youth, culture and tradition", according to Vietnam's Information Ministry. As a result, “we will need tougher measures to combat that content, removal only is not enough.”

The Ministry's statement did not call for the social-media platform to be banned, but its spokesperson Le Quang Tu Donoted that TikTok's owner, China's ByteDance, removed 1.7 million videos in the final three months of 2022.

Do also said TikTok's situation is not unique in Vietnam. "TikTok, Facebook and YouTube are all cross-border social media with international standards. But when operating in Vietnam, the platform needs to abide by local regulations on both content and tax obligations," he said.

In this context, Do noted that TikTok is the only of the three he called out that is currently being probed as it is the only one with local offices.

In addition to the social issues TikTok can raise, in the US and other countries and not just Vietnam, its use of bandwidth joins the parade of high-bandwidth, visually-driven social media and streaming platforms.

TikTok can consume 840MB each hour per use - with 50 million users in Vietnam, this quickly scales up to several petabytes and beyond. According to IDCA Smart Nations Research, the country's data centers currently handle about 8 petabytes per hour in total. So TikTok clearly has a significant effect there.

Photo of Le Quang Tu Do from Government of Vietnam.

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