Myanmar Digital Economy Profile

by | Jan 30, 2020 | Country profiles

Myanmar Digital Economy Profile

by | Jan 30, 2020 | Country profiles

Population & Economy 

According to DataReportal, out of the total population of 54.10 million in Myanmar. The population of females is more than male which is 51.2% to 48.8%. There is +0.9% of the population increase every year. There is 56.57 million (105%) who use their mobiles which could mean some people have more than one mobile phone and it is worth noting that it does not mean everyone owns a mobile. It also shows every single one who has internet, are active on social media. With 56.57 millions of population who have mobile phones, 21 million of them are active internet users and use social media. All those who are active social media, they use social media on their mobile phone.  it is only 39% of the total population which is less than half of the population. GDP per capita is $6,139= 9,017,012 kyat.

Literacy Rates

In 2019, the overall literacy rate above 15 is 93%.  The literacy rate of females who are 15 above, is lower than men to 72% to 80% which up the total literacy rate of 76%

Agriculture and technology: Myanmar, one of the LDCs, has used drones to effectively plant a million mangrove trees. The drones record aerial pictures and capture soil and humidity conditions. The analysed data is then used to select appropriate species and locations for planting. 

The Internet 

Internet Connection Speed 

Myanmar stands third place in the fastest mobile internet speed of 24.21 Mbps in ASEAN region behind Singapore and Laos, however, it is the slowest in fixed internet connection of 11.08 MBPS. This may be due to the late liberalization of the telecommunication market which helps Myanmar enjoys new high tech infrastructure. 

Mobile connectivity index

The overall index score is 53.22 out of 100. Mobile network infrastructure is 36.35 out of 100.  Affordability of devices and services is 72.90 out of 100. Readiness is 65.16 out of a 100. Availability of relevant content and services is 46.48 out of 100. 

The Internet Blackout

There has been an internet blackout in Myanmar and according to Myanmar Times, there is an internet blackout in Northern Rakhine State; it reached 150 days on 18th Nov 2019 and nothing has been updated since then. Services have been restored in five townships in late August but the authorities have shown no sign of ending the blackout in the remaining four – Ponnagyun, Mrauk-U, Kyauk Daw and Minbya – townships.

Social Media 

Facebook audience overview: 

The number of people that Facebook reports can be reached with advertisements on Facebook is 21 million. Among that, the percentage of adults aged 13+ that can be reached with adverts on Facebook is 50% in which female audience accounts for 38% and male audience, 62%. Quarterly growth in Facebook advertising reach is stagnant with 0%. 

Instagram audience overview: 

The number of people that Instagram reports can be reached with adverts on Instagram is 810,000 of which 1.9% of them are adults aged 13+. Moreover, it is reported that 51% of them are female and 49% of them are male.  Quarterly growth in Instagram advertising reach is -3.6%. 

Financial Inclusion factors: 

26% of population aged 15+ has a bank account; 0.06% has a credit card, 0.7% has a mobile money account, 3.6% makes online purchases and/or pays bill online, 0.1% of men own a credit card, whereas the data for women does not exist or mention here. Percentage of women making online transaction is 2.9% and the percentage of men making online transaction is 4.5%. 

Mobile payment 

There are a lot of FinTech startup in Myanmar that provides customers with payment options without using cash. The mobile wallets are Wave Money, True Money MyTel Pa, M-Pitesan, 663 Mobile Money, PayHere, EasyPay, 1-STOP, MyKyat, MYPAY, OK$. The Payment options include Red dot, MyanPay, easyBills. AYP Pay, KBZ Pay, CB Pay, Ongo payment systems owned by the respective banks. Top 5 places for cashless payment are hypermarket/ supermarket (66%), shopping malls (57%), restaurants (52%), convenience store purchases (50%), transportation (47%). 

A Huge Change: From Zawgyi to Unicode

“Unicode was designed as a global system to allow everyone in the world to use their own language on their devices. But most devices in Myanmar still use Zawgyi, which is incompatible with Unicode. Which means the people using those devices are now dealing with compatibility issues across platforms, operating systems, and programming languages. In order to better reach their audiences, content producers in Myanmar often post in both Zawgyi and Unicode in a single post, not to mention English or other languages. Zawgyi encoding uses multiple code points for characters and combined renderings; requires twice as many code points to represent only a subset of the script; and vowel code points could appear before or after a consonant (so CAT or CTA reads the same), which leads to search and comparison problems, even within a single document. This makes any kind of communication between systems a huge challenge.”(Facebook Engineering)

However, those days are almost over since the government announced to migrate to Unicode on October 2019 due to its advantages over Zawgyi. 

This movement is also strongly supported by Facebook which to most people, is considered as the internet in Myanmar. They stated that: 

  • While you could only write Myanmar in Zawgyi, Unicode enables to use other minority languages such as Shan and Mon. It helps Facebook detect policy-violating content and search tools perform better to a great extent. Moreover, it improves the efficiency for Facebook to review reports 
  • It makes it more efficient for us to review reports of potentially harmful content on Facebook, and content reviewers will be able to review issues without needing to know how the content was encoded.” 

Telecommunication companies 

There are many telecom industries outside Myanmar invested in the country which grows over the year. The 2018-19 National Planning Bill projects the Myanmar telecom industry to grow by 15 per cent. The change of telecommunications should enrich people’s lives, while business is expected to become more efficient and contribute more toward the growth of Myanmar’s economy.

The four major telecom companies in Myanmar such as MyTel (Vietnam), Ooredoo (Qatar), Telenor (Norway), and Myanmar Post and Telecommunication (MPT). Moreover, KDDI (Japan cooperation) and Yatanarpon Teleport (Myanmar) are also operated in Myanmar. 

Most popular apps

Most popular applications in smartphone users such as Facebook, Viber, WeChat, Zapya, TubeMate, YouTube or Video Downloader. 


The delivery (COD) payment rate for e-commerce transaction in Myanmar is 85%, which 73% compared to 73% in 2019., is an e-commerce website in Myanmar, has more than 625.98K visits per month with 18% of the traffic coming from social media. The others are the Amazon-like business model, aiming at fashion, electronics. This is also a Rocket Internet business,,,, – monthly visits 104.79K


(n.d.). Retrieved January 22, 2020, from

Artificial Intelligence and Broadband Divide: State of ICT Connectivity in Asia and the Pacific 2017. (n.d.). Retrieved January 22, 2020, from

Kemp, S. (2019, January 31). Digital 2019: Myanmar – DataReportal – Global Digital Insights. Retrieved January 20, 2020, from 

Pruzan, N. L. G. M., LaGrow, N., & Pruzan, M. (2019, October 5). Integrating autoconversion: Facebook’s path from Zawgyi to Unicode. Retrieved January 30, 2020, from

Myanmar telecoms market report 2019. (n.d.). Retrieved January 30, 2020, from