Study: Extremely low Internet use among Vietnamese children

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HANOI--Less than 1% of Vietnamese urban children have surfed the Internet, and fewer than half have ever used a computer, according to a newly released survey by ACNielsen. The survey also found that, while Vietnamese children prefer foreign brand chocolates, ice creams and soft drinks, local sports and movie stars take top billing over imported celebrities.

The New GenerAsians survey, commissioned by the Cartoon Network, aimed to track youth opinions and preferences in 14 Asian nations with particular focus on Internet use and brand awareness. More than 7,700 children aged 7-to-18 living in 29 cities across the Asia-Pacific region were questioned for the poll. Vietnam scored lowest for Internet use, just behind Indonesia and India.

The survey also found that Vietnamese children are hard working, concerned about their academic performance and show strong social cohesion.

"Over 70% of kids ranked achieving good grades as the most important thing for them, while the least important is being cool among friends," said Phil Burford, Asia Pacific Chief Communications Officer for AC Nielsen.

According to the New GenerAsians report, urban children in Vietnam lead a comparatively simple and non-materialistic lifestyle, with more than half saying it was not important to own designer labels, and 87% saying they had never eaten at fast-food restaurants.

Nevertheless, the survey suggests that brand awareness among young urban Vietnamese is already strong, with a pair of Calvin Klein jeans listed as the most sought after item of clothing, Adidas the favorite footwear, Casio the favourite watch, Wall's the favourite ice cream, Coca-Cola the favourite soft drink and M&Ms the favorite chocolate.

When it comes to entertainment, however, Vietnamese children show a marked preference for local celebrities -- such as singer Lam Truong or footballer Hong Son -- over foreign stars.

The New GenerAsians survey was conducted over a six-week period between October and December 1999 in Vietnam, Australia, China and Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

Copyright May 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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