What Happened: An official of the Mark Zuckerberg-led company said the Vietnamese government told the company to increase the volume of content it already restricts in the Southeast Asian country but it refused to comply, according to Reuters.
“That request came with some threats about what might happen if we didn’t,” the official revealed.
Why It Matters: Vietnam is a significant source of revenue for the Menlo Park, California-based company. Facebook earns $1 billion from the country, people familiar with the numbers told Reuters.
The company reportedly has 60 million users in the country.
According to its biannual transparency report, Facebook said it restricted 834 items in Vietnam in the first six months of 2020 based on requests from the local government.
Facebook agreed to notch up its censorship of “anti-state” posts in April but the company was asked again in August to step up the restrictions of posts. “Facebook has upheld our end of the agreement, and we expected the government of Vietnam to do the same,” the company official told Reuters.
The social giant claims it has been at the receiving end of a 14-month-long negative media campaign carried out by Vietnam’s state-controlled press.
The Southeast Asian country has been pushing back against tech giants based in the United States of late.
Vietnam’s information minister claimed this month that Netflix Inc and Apple Inc haven’t paid any taxes in the country despite garnering a combined revenue of $43.15 million from the country.
Price Action: Facebook shares closed nearly 0.4% higher at $272.94 on Thursday and fell 0.34% in the after-hours session.