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People of Lao Find Social Media For News Most Trustworthy

The number of the country’s social media users is now projected to reach 2.7 million or 39 percent of the population this year, according to the report.

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social media
“The stories broadcast on TV aren’t clear, and are screened ahead of time by the authorities,” the man said, adding, “The internet is not restricted, and the authorities can’t control the information we find on it.” Pixabay

Lao residents are increasingly abandoning state-controlled news sources and turning more to the internet and social media to get news they can trust, sources in the communist Southeast Asian country say.

Facebook and the internet also provide news more quickly and feature live videos, a young woman living in Xayaburi province in the country’s north told RFA’s Lao Service on April 23.

“Lao TV just reads the news and doesn’t show the real thing,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

social media

“Increasingly aware of the restrictions imposed on the official media, Laotians are turning to the Internet and social media,” RSF said in its report. 
Pixabay

“For example, when there was a flood in Attapeu province, social media very quickly reported the number of deaths,” the young woman said. “But the Lao government was not really open about any of this,” she said.

Also speaking to RFA, a man in Savannakhet province in the south of Laos said he now reads Facebook to get news not previously screened by authorities.

“[Lao] TV provides only restricted news and information, for example news about drug trafficking and other news about the country,” the man said, also speaking on condition he not be named.

“The stories broadcast on TV aren’t clear, and are screened ahead of time by the authorities,” the man said, adding, “The internet is not restricted, and the authorities can’t control the information we find on it.”

Both sources told RFA that they frequently check their smart phones when looking for news and other updated information whenever they can get a clear signal, looking also at the social media platforms Line, WhatsApp, and WeChat.

‘Absolute control’

In an annual report released earlier this month, Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) gave Laos a ranking of 171, close to the bottom of a 180-country survey of press freedoms worldwide, saying that the country’s ruling Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) “exercises absolute control over the media.”

“Increasingly aware of the restrictions imposed on the official media, Laotians are turning to the Internet and social media,” RSF said in its report.

“But use of online news and information platforms is held back by a 2014 decree under which Internet users who criticize the government and the Marxist-Leninist LPRP can be jailed,” the press freedoms group said.

News
“Lao TV just reads the news and doesn’t show the real thing,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Pixabay

Speaking to RFA, a Lao government official dismissed the RSF report, saying, “We have a socialist media, and we serve a socialist regime, the Party and the government.  I don’t believe in their ranking.”

“Our government doesn’t force us to do anything,” he said. “For example, if the government tells us not to publish a story, we simply don’t do it.”

Also Read: Xiaomi Launches 2 Budget Smartphones in India

The number of people using social media in Laos is expected to surge this year, as telecom operators compete with each other to offer better services, a report released at the beginning of April by the state-controlled Lao National Internet Centre shows.

The number of the country’s social media users is now projected to reach 2.7 million or 39 percent of the population this year, according to the report. (RFA)

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Huawei Plans to Bring Custom-Made OS For its Smartphones Soon

Under the terms of the previous US trade ban, Google was barred from selling Android license to Huawei

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Huawei
The upcoming smartphone if Huawei named 'P40' may also run "HarmonyOS" instead of Android, revealed Richard Yu, Head of Huawei's consumer business. Wikimedia Commons

Chinese conglomerate Huawei’s President Wang Chenglu has revealed that Huawei is all set to bring its custom-made operating system ‘HarmonyOS’ to its smartphones range in 2020.

According to him, “HarmonyOS” that will be available globally will not replace Android as Huawei still treats Android as preferred OS by choice but things will start moving on this front next year, media rpeorts daid on Monday.

“If we’re still not allowed [by the US government] to access Google’s Android service, we will consider using our own HarmonyOS. In fact, our OS is ready, but we will not use it in the first place as we’re still considering a relevant decision and cooperation,” Chenglu was quoted as saying.

Under the terms of the previous US trade ban, Google was barred from selling Android license to Huawei, meaning its phones could use the base open-source code, but would not have access to the all-important Play Store and Google apps.

Huawei
Chinese conglomerate Huawei’s President Wang Chenglu has revealed that Huawei is all set to bring its custom-made operating system ‘HarmonyOS’ to its smartphones range in 2020. Pixabay

A temporary licence was issued which allows Google to support and update the Android OS currently running on existing Huawei devices. However, the trade ban has affected the development of future products.

The company has already launched “HarmonyOS” with Honor Vision TV series.

ALSO READ: Vivo Unveils New V17 in India For Rs 22,990

The company’s upcoming smartphone ‘P40’ may also run “HarmonyOS” instead of Android, revealed Richard Yu, Head of Huawei’s consumer business. (IANS)