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'Black app' market highly active in Vietnam

Having fewer than 10,000 members, the Vietnamese community of game makers on Facebook is staying busy, selling and buying mobile apps of all kinds.

'Black app' market highly active in Vietnam

The black app market is highly active with gambling apps

The news that a young woman had huge revenue of VND330 billion in 2020 and a man had the revenue of VND260 billion in Cau Giay district, Hanoi, from writing apps for Play Store and Apple Store has surprised the public. But app developers can indeed earn a very high income.

The Vietnamese app market has many organizations and individuals earning big money quietly. There are fewer than 10,000 members in the society of gamemakers on Facebook. One can easily find offers to sell and buy source codes for gambling apps.

Since this is a black market, there are high risks when sellers promote wine and sell vinegar.

“Of 10 source code sellers, nine are swindlers. The remaining seller really sells code, but it is full of crashes and bugs,” said Huu Hung, a member of the society.

Besides gambling apps, source codes of mobile games are offered for sale among groups of this kind. These can be source codes of long lasting games with large communities such as Vo Lam (swordman) or games imitating Swordman.

Since Google applies loose censorship and China uses a separate store for Android, cloned games can be uploaded to Play Store easily.

However, since it is a complicated job to operate a mobile game and needs a big team, the black app market is busy thanks to these gambling apps.


Only a low number of programmers regularly advertise games developed by themselves among these groups. However, the games are not highly appreciated in quality.

They cannot match the iconic game like Flappy Bird of Nguyen Ha Dong if they have no experience and creativity.

The head of a game designer group in Hanoi told VietNamNet that the market of source codes for gambling apps is hot with high demand from Vietnamese card players to poker and free slot players ( ‘casino game’). However, he said the risks are high and he dare not take such a risk.

His team just focuses on cloning hot hypergames and making hypercasual short-life cycles.

The market of gambling apps for western countries is believed to be very lucrative in the context of Covid-19 because people have more free time. Sensor Tower reports that 5 mobile games had revenue of over $1billion last year. 

Phuong Nguyen

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