Vietnam internet economy to reach US$9b in 2018

14:45 22/11/2018

The Vietnamese internet economy has almost tripled in three years to reach US$9 billion in 2018, driven by e-commerce and online media, a new report released by Google and Temasek showed.

vietnam internet economy to reach us$9b in 2018 hinh 0
Within the Southeast Asian region, the internet economy is most developed in Vietnam. - Photo

According to the report, titled “e-Conomy SEA 2018”, the internet economy is growing in all six Southeast Asian countries surveyed but the stage of development relative to the size of each country’s economy differs. It is most developed in Vietnam, where the gross merchandise value (GMV) of the internet economy is 4% of the country’s GDP.

With e-commerce almost doubling in 2018 from a year earlier, and with online advertising and gaming growing at more than 50% year on year, the Vietnamese internet economy is booming. Amidst one of the lowest penetrations of online travel bookings in the region, the online travel market has huge room for growth.

While e-commerce is experiencing healthy growth in all Southeast Asian countries, Indonesia is leading the way, reaching US$12 billion in 2018 and accounting for more than US$1 in every US$2 spent in the region. E-commerce adoption has also accelerated in Vietnam, where it reached nearly US$3 billion in 2018.

Online Media is also growing rapidly in Vietnam, reaching US$2.2 billion. This is not surprising considering the country ranks among the top 10 globally in terms of user engagement on gaming, social media and video platforms.

According to the report, powered by a large, growing, and incredibly engaged internet user base, it is estimated that the Southeast Asian internet economy has reached US$72 billion in GMV in 2018 across online travel, e-commerce, online media and ride hailing. Growing at 37% from a year earlier, it has accelerated beyond the 32% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) that was recorded between 2015 and 2018.

With the addition of the new sectors of online vacation rentals, online food ordering and subscription music and video on demand, and amidst the accelerated growth observed across all sectors, the internet economy in the region is on track to exceed US$240 billion by 2025 – US$40 billion higher than previously estimated.

The GMV of the internet economy stands at 2.8% of Southeast Asia’s GDP in 2018 – up from 1.3% in 2015 – and is projected to exceed 8% by 2025. To put that into perspective, Southeast Asia is still trailing almost 10 years behind the US, where the GMV of the internet economy already accounted for 6.5% of GDP back in 2016. The gap, however, has started to narrow.

The report also estimated there are more than 350 million internet users across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam in June 2018 – 90 million more than in 2015.