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An employee walks past a sign for Zalo, the division of tech unicorn VNG that made Vietnam one of the few countries in the world with its own chat app more popular than foreign rivals'.   © Lien Hoang
Business Spotlight

Vietnam's first unicorn bets on AI and overseas growth

VNG built the country's answer to WeChat; now it is aiming even higher

LIEN HOANG, Nikkei staff writer | Vietnam

HO CHI MINH CITY -- It is a hazy afternoon in Ho Chi Minh City, and Vuong Quang Khai has just pulled up in a compact SUV to introduce Nikkei Asia to Kiki, his company's artificial-intelligent voice assistant.

Khai is senior executive vice president at VNG, a gaming startup-turned-tech conglomerate that has become Vietnam's first unicorn. The Columbia-educated computer scientist also heads Zalo AI, the VNG division that developed Kiki, which he was keen to showcase.

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