- Tram Ho
Is this the first time Coc Coc has been ‘pressurized’ by Google or have similar incidents happened before?
This is not the first time and certainly will not be the last time Google has made unfair competition moves with Coc Coc. Because in the Vietnamese market, Coc Coc is a direct competitor to Google. Besides, Google is not just oppressing Coc Coc alone. Because the monopoly position brings a lot of benefits to them, Google will do everything to minimize competition.
For example, Google blocked the ad account and did not approve many ads of Coc Coc even though it did not violate the regulations. Specifically, the same ad content, but Coc Coc’s account is not approved by Google, but if it runs through an agency, it will be approved.
As for the browser and search engine, the hardest part is in the mobile version because at the moment, Google is completely controlling Android as well as the Play Store, and Google is also spending billions of money on Apple. USD per year just to be the default search engine on Safari. So, every time the Coc Coc mobile app releases a new and potential feature, Google will often find a way to block it.
In addition to taking advantage of the UA chain to prevent Coc Coc users from logging in with Google accounts such as Gmail to synchronize on the browser, when accessing some other Google services such as Google Sheet, Google Meet, … on Coc Coc , the user will be blocked and receive a warning to upgrade or switch to the Google Chrome browser.
What is the reason behind these ‘bad play’ actions by Google?
First, it must be said that this action of Google is not only aimed at Coc Coc or the Vietnamese market in particular. Google inherently has a very wide ecosystem and has dominated many areas from search engines, browsers, video platforms, mobile operating systems, advertising systems … and always uses that advantage to eliminate the interference. competition from competitors in order to maintain a monopoly position.
Because of this reason, the problem of Google being penalized is not new because they have been entangled in many penalties in many countries. Recently, the US and European Justice Departments also issued a penalty to Google for abuse of position.
For example, the FireFox browser has been acquired by Google, and most of FireFox’s revenue at the moment comes from the money that Google pays.
An example of how Google can completely control mobile search engines is owning Android, Play Store and in 2021 it will pay Apple about 15 billion USD for being the default search engine. determined on iPhone (on average, Google spends about 15 USD/year for each iPhone, if calculating the cost for the Vietnamese market, the cost Google has to pay to Apple will be about 400 million USD).
In addition, Coc Coc’s product is better than Chrome in many points in terms of utilities and outstanding features, suitable for the needs of Vietnamese users such as downloading, the ability to load pages quickly x2 times, removing ads. annoy…
Therefore, Google is concerned that the development of Coc Coc will adversely affect Google’s position. This is a game of big fish “swallowing” small fish, eliminating competition to occupy a unique position.
Will changing this string cause any disadvantages for users or affect the competitive environment of search engines and browsers?
Regarding the impact on the competitive environment of browsers and search engines, Coc Coc will be negatively impacted. Because, changing this string will make statistical analysis more difficult.
Some units like Statcounter use UA to aggregate data. Changing the UA will mean that the algorithm will not be able to distinguish between Google users and Coc Coc users. As a result, Coc Coc suffered a decrease in market share statistics, users, … while the actual data did not decrease.
However, when having to consider between Coc Coc’s company/brand interests and the interests of Vietnamese users, Coc Coc will always choose users.
Besides, this change will have no impact on the user experience. This is just a technical change. Users can even benefit from being no longer blocked by Google on many services, making browsing smoother and more seamless.
Chrome’s choice to switch to UA is to ensure the best user experience during use. Users of Coc Coc will no longer encounter unnecessary errors caused by Google blocking Coc Coc.
Will this change be a temporary solution or a permanent solution of Coc Coc? Has Coc Coc thought of a long-term solution to avoid the phenomenon of ‘squeeze’ from continuing to happen again from Google, affecting the user experience?
It’s hard to say, actually, competing with Google is like a game of cat and mouse. For example, on Youtube, Coc Coc has an ad filtering tool to help users have the best experience and always has to update it regularly because Google is always looking for ways to break that feature of Coc Coc.
Each time Coc Coc changes, Google will also change to prevent it with the purpose of hiding Coc Coc’s market share data, affecting the company’s business. As a temporary solution, Coc Coc will have to provide more detailed statistics for units like Statcounter and maybe in the future Coc Coc will return to using Coc Coc’s UA chain.
However, temporary or long-term, Coc Coc needs to consider the impact on the user experience. Coc Coc’s ability to return to using UA can only happen if it can solve all the common user errors blocked by Google.
Coc Coc had to consider and prepare for a long time before officially announcing the news to the media. We’ve been starting this process for a while and will officially finalize the change as of early September 2021
Regarding the long-term solution towards thoroughly solving the phenomenon of oppression, Coc Coc cannot do it alone, because the basic position in terms of both technological and financial resources is not equal to that of Google. The problem can only be solved if there is coordination and support from the Vietnamese business protection and management agency.
Did Coc Coc sue Google about this behavior in court?
Actually, this would be fine if it could, but in reality it would be very unlikely. Like other similar cases in the world, Coc Coc will not be the one to sue Google directly and Coc Coc has no plans to do so.
Coc Coc just wants to bring the issue of oppression and unfair competition to the public so that users and regulatory agencies have a more specific view on this issue. However, Coc Coc is always ready, or collects evidence, and then it depends on Google’s actions if Google continues to be too oppressive. If there is any plan from the government towards legal action against Google, Coc Coc is ready to assist in providing documents, evidence and perspectives.
The fact that Google oppresses small businesses to increase their monopoly factor is not a new problem, as the case of Brave or Vivaldi mentioned by Coc Coc also happened. What solutions does Coc Coc suggest to help protect fair and healthy competition in a borderless environment with giant competitors like Google?
Unfair competitive environment can “sink” small companies as soon as they appear. Or small companies will have to play by the “own rules” of the big guys, according to which the main interests will be held by the “tycoons”, over time the monopolies will exert pressure and then proceed to acquire them. In short, the way Facebook did with Instagram and WhatsApp.
To prevent this from happening again, it is necessary to have international antitrust laws (between countries, regions, continents…) and the cooperation of companies with common interests.
In addition, legal provisions are also very important in this regard. But not changing the rules will solve it. If you want to change the rules, there must be other options, because maybe users only have Google as a search engine, otherwise the regulation will not solve the problem. .
For example, in Russia, they have a search engine, actually several search engines are able to compete with Google, and now it is the Russian regulation to control the monopoly situation. fruit. The reason is that users have more options to search, so the introduction of regulations by the Russian Government will help the competitive environment become more fair.
In fact, the Ministry of Information and Communications has also thought of this issue in its digital transformation plan and has also studied how European countries such as Russia, Britain, and France have done to combat Google’s monopoly. In Europe, for example, Google was fined up to $1.7 billion for violating EU antitrust regulations in the online advertising business. Previously, the EU had fined Google $ 5.1 billion for unfair competition with rivals on the Android mobile platform.
Here, it is important that the law is gradually revised. especially policies to support domestic enterprises. This will be a long road that Vietnam needs to be clever about, because we are not like China. China is a very large country, they can ban it but it is difficult for Vietnam to do so because we are not big enough in size, nor should we do it because it will affect us. to the user. So the best option is to have regulations so that businesses can compete fairly.
Last year, Coc Coc made a profit of 30 billion dong. But with the recent “squeezing” of Google plus the complicated developments of the Covid-19 epidemic, how will it affect Coc Coc’s profit this year?
Coc Coc always tries to increase revenue as well as margin %, of course the number will not be equal to last year because the time of revenue planning, Coc Coc did not anticipate that the epidemic would last so long. this. Therefore, this will make Coc Coc more difficult to achieve the profit plan set out earlier. Now Coc Coc’s goal will try to balance the losses with the revenue of Coc Coc’s investments such as marketing campaigns to attract users.
Source : Genk