Nov 08, 2019 / 10:39

Vietnam refutes low Internet freedom ranking by Freedom House

The Hanoitimes - Ensuring the rights of freedom of speech and information access is the consistent policy of Vietnam.

The Vietnamese foreign ministry has rejected a report by the Washington D.C.-based NGO Freedom House that placed Vietnam on the list of countries without Internet freedom.

 Ngo Toan Thang, deputy spokesperson of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: MOFA

“I completely reject the Freedom House’s subjective assessments, wrong information about Viet Nam in its report launched on November 5,” said Ngo Toan Thang, deputy spokesperson of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), at a regular press meeting Thursday.

“Ensuring the rights of freedom of speech and information access is the consistent policy of Vietnam, stipulated in the Constitution and law and fully exercised in practice. The Vietnamese State always promotes the development of the internet to boost national construction and development as well as social demand for information exchange, study and employment,” Thang asserted.

He affirmed that Vietnam is now one of the leading countries in the world in terms of Internet use and subscription growth. Information technology and social media are being used widely in the country in all spheres.

Thang cited statistics showing that as of early 2019, Vietnam had over 60 million Internet users, accounting for over 60% of the total population, ranking 16th globally in terms of the number of Internet users. The country also records 55 million social media users, among the largest worldwide.

Facebook is the most popular social media platform in Vietnam and is not censored. The government has been encouraging local companies to launch their own platforms but few have succeeded so far.