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As Silicon Valley welcomed Vietnam leader, Hanoi tightened tech laws

One-party state ushers in Big Tech with one hand, reins in internet with other

During his trip to the U.S., Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh met representatives from Apple, Google, and other California tech giants.

HO CHI MINH CITY -- Last month Vietnam's leader held a series of meetings in California, from a tete-a-tete with Apple CEO Tim Cook to a gift exchange at Google's campus, to tell Silicon Valley his country is open for business. Simultaneously, at home on the other side of the Pacific, its one-party government was drafting internet rules that sent jitters through the technology sector.

Vietnam's activities on opposite sides of the ocean lay bare two competing ambitions -- one to digitize the fast-growing economy of 99 million people, the other to keep the web under its thumb.

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