VNG - the first Vietnamese tech unicorn - was included in the 10 Asian companies to watch in 2023 list announced by Japan’s Nikkei Asia web. (Photo:VNG)
According to the web, the VNG has emerged as one of the country's most watched companies, with a possible initial public offering in 2023. The tech company has registered to trade some of its shares on a local exchange for unlisted firms, a move that is often used for companies to test the stock market before their official IPO. It is also reportedly eyeing a US listing.
Founded in 2004 by Le Hong Minh, an Australian-educated investment banker, the VNG started out as an online game publisher and developer called Vinagame. The company's cash cow business has expanded to other Asian markets, where it competes with rivals like Singapore-based Sea. With users in more than 130 countries, the VNG aims to reach 320 million customers globally in this year.
The Vietnamese tech company has expanded to other areas, most notably with Zalo, its messenger app launched in 2012. The service overtook Meta's Facebook Messenger in Vietnam in 2020 and now has over 74 million active users in its home market, where the app is used to chat, shop, send money, and pay household bills.
After defending its home market from other tech giants and expanding regionally, the VNG is trying to accelerate its international expansion -- which a US market debut will facilitate.
Nikei Asia also highlighted that after navigating a turbulent year of conflicts, inflation and a lingering pandemic, Asian companies have emerged with their sights set on shaking up markets at home and abroad in 2023.
Other names in the list included Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD, Indonesia’s Indika Energy, Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Japanese power chipmaker Rohm.