Viettel refutes Facebook accusations of discrediting rivals in Myanmar

12:07 | 18/02/2020
Reacting to Facebook’s accusation that Viettel has been discrediting its competitors in Myanmar through fake social network accounts, Viettel immediately released a statement claiming innocence and respect for the law.
viettel refutes facebook accusations of discrediting rivals in myanmar
Viettel subsidiary Mytel has produced tremendous growth for several years before coming under fire for unfair business practices

Facebook has accused Mytel, a subsidiary of Vietnam-based telecom Viettel, for unfair competition in the Myanmar market. Accordingly, fake accounts connected to Mytel commented negatively about the performance of its competitors in the country.

Reacting to the accusation, Viettel has quickly responsed, stating that it always obeys the nation's regulations related to business ethics. "Viettel maintains strict observance of regulations at each and every branch. We have been investigating the case and are ready to work with Facebook to solve it. In case violations took place, Viettel will take the necessary measures to handle them."

Facebook pointed out that the pages all linked to the Vietnam-based telecom company Mytel. In its announcement of the problem, the social network said, “The Page admins and account owners typically shared content in English and Burmese about alleged business failures and planned market exit of some service providers in Myanmar and their alleged fraudulent activity against their customers. Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities and co-ordination, our investigation found links to two telecom providers – Mytel in Myanmar, Viettel in Vietnam, and Gapit Communications – a PR firm in Vietnam.”

Facebook removed 13 accounts and 10 pages violating its policies. Accordingly, the individuals have used fake accounts to manage the pages collecting independent telecom news. They also disguised themselves as customers to discredit other service providers in the country.

Facebook also said that about 290,000 accounts follow the pages. A CrowdTangle analysis of the pages in the network indicated that four of the pages showed suspicious increases in the number of page likes when plotted over time. “Page likes” refers to a measure of the popularity of the page and is a direct reflection of the number of users that opt-in to receive posts from the page on their timeline.

Mytel, Viettel's mobile operator in Myanmar, has signed with more than two million subscribers in just one month since officially starting operations.

This is the fastest growth of subscribers Viettel has seen in any market around the world, including Vietnam, and is an achievement few telecom companies can match in the context of the slowdown in the global telecom industry.

The Vietnamese market has in the past held world records for the fastest growth, but it still took Viettel one year to reach two million subscribers in the country. Recently, the company to reach two million subscribers in the fastest time was Halotel, Viettel’s Tanzanian operation, which took nine months.

By Van Anh

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