Nguyen Duc Tho, chief inspector of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Information and Communications, said on June 27 that he sent a document ordering two domains, Zalo.vn and Zalo.me, to be suspended from July 19 until further notice.
Zalo is still active and accessible through smartphone application or web browser. Photo: Internet
The two domains, owned by Vietnamese tech firm VNG Corporation, are still active and accessible through smartphone application or web browser.
In 2018, the Inspectorate of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Information and Communications also fined social network Zalo for operating without authorization.
According to Tho, the company paid the fine then, and has been given time to provide necessary documents for legalizing the social media and networking services, but it has never done so.
Other social media service providers in Vietnam all have obtained authorization before becoming operational, Tho added.
Zalo Group, part of VNG, has said multiple times that Zalo is simply an over-the-top (OTT) application.
Since Vietnam has no policies regarding the management of OTT apps and Zalo’s operation is too similar to a social network service, it needs authorization for becoming operational, Tho stressed.
Zalo began as an application for calling and texting over the Internet, but it is tied to personal phone numbers. Its functions were expanded to include personal profiles and image and video uploading. It has grown to be a popular messenger app, garnering more than 100 million users globally after seven years. Currently, users can also use the web version of Zalo.
Will Zalo stop working when Zalo.vn and Zalo.me are revoked?
Currently, when users access the null and void zalo.vn, the domain is redirected to zalo.me.
According to the local media, revoking the ‘.me’ domain is not simple, because it is an international domain. Currently, the domain ‘.me’ is provided by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) via distributors. Legally, revoking this domain needs the cooperation of ICANN.
Thus, the Zalo application is still operating normally, although on July 19, the zalo.vn domain is no longer valid.
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