Monday , February 6 2023

Gas prices, Ukraine most googled news in Vietnam


‘Gas prices today,’ ‘Storm Noru,’ and ‘Ukraine’ were the most googled news topics in Vietnam this year, according to Google’s Year in Search report released on Wednesday.

When it comes to gas, users also asked why the nation was suffering from gas shortages, why gas prices were rising and why local gas stations were closing down.

Residents in Vietnam have been suffering fuel shortages for months, including those in HCMC and Hanoi. Many had to wait for hours at gas stations, or visit different ones with limited offers to fill up their tanks. A combination of several factors, including decreasing imports and ineffective price management by government regulators, have contributed to the shortage, according to local officials.

Storm Noru made landfall in the central city of Da Nang and its neighbor Quang Nam Province in September. Wind speeds of 133kph made Noru the strongest storm to hit central Vietnam in 20 years.

“Ukraine” was the third most searched news topic in Vietnam, also topping the list of “why” questions on Google in the country, reflecting the general populace’s efforts to dig in and monitor information about the year’s biggest global conflict.

Also among the 10 most searched news stories in Vietnam this year were dollar prices, which have been hitting record highs against the dong several times this year, and SCB (Saigon Commercial Bank), which made headlines from October, after An Dong Investment Group, a company it endorsed, allegedly committed fraud.

An Dong is a subsidiary of Van Thinh Phat, whose chairwoman Truong My Lan and other related people were arrested last month for alleged fraud related to the issuance of bonds worth trillions of dong (VND1 trillion = $40.21 million).

The bank held a meeting with investors who bought bonds from An Dong last month, where it dismissed many investors’ accusation that SCB employees had persuaded them to buy the An Dong bonds with a lack of honesty.

Coming next in the top search list were “ISHCMC” (The International School Ho Chi Minh City) which made headlines in May following a fight between the school’s students that grew into Facebook shaming, and “Tinh that bong lai,” which refers to a group of Buddhist followers in the southern Long An Province, where six people involved were sentenced to jail in July for “abusing democratic freedom,” accused of uploading videos with false and insulting contents on YouTube.

Dengue fever and monkeypox were also among the most searched terms by Vietnamese Googlers.

Vietnam is experiencing one of its worst years of dengue fever in history.

By the end of November, the country has recorded more than 325,600 infections and 122 deaths, according to the Health Ministry.

Doctors said in September that the number of dengue fever cases in Vietnam by then was only slightly lower than the whole of 1998, its worst year of dengue fever infections when 300,000 cases and 400 deaths were recorded.

Vietnam’s first two monkeypox cases were detected in October, two women who returned to Vietnam from Dubai. Following treatments at the hospital, they have recovered.

Google’s Year in Search is an annual report that provides insight into what people search for on the Internet when they use Google.

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