Zalo firmly disallows links to online loans and “black” credit websites

The most widely used cross-platform messaging and calling app in Vietnam, Zalo, is now actively preventing the sharing of websites that offer illegal credit and online loans.
Many Zalo users recently learned that it was impossible to access or share links to websites that offered online loans.
When you check a number of websites that contain the Vietnamese phrases meaning “money lending, “loan”, “betting,” etc., you will quickly notice a red warning box by Zalo saying it is not saft to access the links. You cannot access the website’s pages either if you click on the links. Many popular websites that posted similar content on Zalo also came out the same.

Even while not all websites offering illegal financial services are blocked when shared on Zalo, this effort by Zalo shows the company’s determination to reduce the risk of fraud for its users in the wake of several scams involving links shared on the platform.

Since its official release in August 2012, Zalo has gradually surpassed Facebook Messenger to take the top spot among online calling and messaging services in Vietnam. The platform offers numerous other services in addition to messaging and calling features, including shopping, news about cars and real estate, online bank loan services, online public services, etc.

In May of this year, this platform integrated an end-to-end encryption feature for conversations, which used to be considered a weakness of Zalo in comparison to competitors such as Whatsapp, Telegram… Thanks to this new upgrade , conversations on Zalo are now  encoded into a unique, meaningless string of characters right on the user’s computer to prevent third parties from decoding and reading the message content. The platform’s security has also been enhanced by Zalo’s integration of the automatic message deletion feature. As a result, users can configure their messages to be automatically removed from both senders and recipients at the time they want.

Zalo’s most recent modification, which became effective at the beginning of August this year, has caused controversy. As a result, users on this platform who wish to have over 1000 Zalo friends and send more than 40 messages to strangers each month must pay a fee of 5,500 VND every day, or nearly 165 K VND per month.

Currently, Zalo ranks first in popularity in Vietnam with more than 75 million regular users and 1.7 billion messages delivered daily.

Data sources: Zalo, Decision Lab, Adsota, Ministry of Information and Communications.