Low cost smart phones still live well amid their predicted ill fate

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VietNamNet Bridge - Contrary to all predictions that low cost smart phones would soon disappear from the market because of their low quality, the products still have been selling very well and become more and more favored by customers. VnMedia newspaper, which conducted a mini survey on the mobile phone market, has come to a conclusion that it was not high end smart phones, but the medium class and low cost products which were the best sellers in the market last week. 24h.com has reported that Hanoians now rush to buy VIVO HD, a kind of low cost and multi-functional product distributed by AVAtelecom. VIVO HD is now priced at VND4.2 million, which, in the eyes of consumers, is a very reasonable price, if noting that it can connect TV, allows users to watch TV and play heavy games and to make documents. Low cost smart phones are understood as the products with the retail prices of no more than VND5 million per product. The owner of a mobile phone shop on Thai Ha Street in Hanoi said … [Read more...]

2-SIM smart phones bring fat profits to Vietnamese manufacturers

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VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnamese now tend to use the low-cost smart phones adaptable to 2 simcards and powerful with strong configuration. The strongest card of small manufacturers The mobile phones adaptable to 2 simcards first appeared in Vietnam in 2007. Most of the products were made by unknown manufacturers and imported from China. Later, Vietnamese telecom groups also jumped into the profitable market by launching multi-simcard products. Even the world's big manufacturers like Nokia, Samsung, Phillips, Alcatel and LG have also developed 2-SIM models. 2-SIM phones were understood as low cost products, which are equipped with the basic features. However, the concept has changed a lot over the last 2 years. More and more 2-SIM phones with strong configuration, including Vietnamese brand blockbuster products have been marketed recently. VinaPhone, one of the three biggest mobile network operators, has made its presence in the mobile phone market by launching Avio Sky A850, a … [Read more...]

Locals talk up future

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The global smartphone boom is led by tech giants like Samsung, Apple and Nokia, but Vietnamese firms are starting to make their mark in the low and medium market segments. Increasing numbers of Vietnamese are dialing into the smartphone revolution Photo: Le Toan Many local manufacturers jumped into making handsets but most earned meager revenue figures. The number of Vietnamese brand handsets remains only a handful at present, with the most popular brands being FPT, Q-Mobile and Mobistar. Q-Mobile has captured articular attention from consumers. The brand first appeared in May 2008 by An Binh Telecom Company Limited (ABTEL) and is now ranked third in Vietnam's smartphone market in sale volumes. According to Q-Mobile chief executive officer (CEO) Nguyen Quang Minh, Vietnam's smart-phone market is currently vibrant across all market segments, entailing big challenges to the firm. "But competition is inevitable in the marketplace. With proper strategy, we are confident to … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 26/3

HOSE to honor sustainability reports The Hochiminh Stock Exchange (HOSE) has announced to present the Sustainability Reporting Awards to listed enterprises with remarkable contributions to environmental and social issues given the framework of the 2013 Annual Report Awards (ARA). Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, the awards will be granted for the first time in this year's competition. The World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Britain-based Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) will be in charge of professional aspects and send judges to evaluate related contents in listed firms' reports. On Tuesday's 2013 ARA launch also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the ARA's organizing committee, IFC and ACCA. Following its success over the past five years, the ARA contest is co-organized by HOSE and Vietnam Investment Review's sister publication Dau tu Chung khoan and sponsored by fund manager Dragon Capital. This … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 25/3

Seafood industry faces slow export growth Vietnamese seafood producers are facing slow export growth and a shortage in material, after the US Department of Commerce levied higher tariffs on export of frozen pangasius fish fillets, effective from August 1, 2010 to July 31, 2011. Figures by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors show that export turnover of the country's seafood industry merely touched US$6.2 billion last year, compared to a target of $6.8 billion. With a growth rate of nearly 1 percent, last year was considered the worst year for the local seafood industry in recent years, as breeding, producing, and exports, all faced difficulties. Breeders struggled with fluctuating prices and diseases since the beginning of the year, causing a decline in shrimp crops. Meanwhile, firms faced a financial crunch, shortage of material, and were forced to operate perfunctorily or even run the risk of bankruptcy. Last year, demand from the EU market, the major … [Read more...]

Vietnam to produce cheap smartphones and tablets

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Vietnamese consumers may have more choices when the first locally made smartphones and tablets are unveiled at around just USD50, one official said. Thieu Phuong Nam, CEO of Qualcomm in charge of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, announced that the company is cooperating with Vietnamese producers and network providers to realise the plan. According to Nam, mobile phones are a new technology trend that could change the lives of people in Vietnam and many other countries in the world. "3G and mobile devices have become a common part of people's lives when they find more affordable to normal mobiles," he noted. He said that Qualcomm planned to intensify its operations in Vietnam this year in a bid to bring 3G technology to almost every resident in the country. "While there are around two billion 3G subscribers in the world, Vietnam has only 20 million 3G subscribers, according to the Ministry of Information and Communication. We see a great potential for 3G development in Vietnam in the … [Read more...]

Vietnam tech firm plans to sell 600,000 smart phones

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FPT Technology Products Company, a subsidiary of technology giant FPT, plans to shift from production of feature phones to smart phones to catch up with the global trend, news website Saigon Times reported. The company hopes to have 600,000 smart phones under its own brand name in the market this year, Le Hoang Hai, its deputy director, said. It expects smart phones to make up 70 percent of its mobile handset sales, he added. It would make efforts to push sales of its smart phones above the country's average growth rate, which was 15 percent last year, by using the latest technologies, it said. FPT IV from FPT Technology Products Company is the first Vietnamese-made smart phone to use a quad-core processor. The company has forecast growth in smart phones sales to double this year. Its FPT IV, which went on sale on February 18, became the first Vietnamese-made smart phone with a quad-core processor. Its price starts at VND4.45 million (US$213). The company entered the mobile … [Read more...]

Luxury Vertu TI unveiled in Vietnam

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Quoc Hung and Van Oanh FPT aims to sell 600,000 smartphones this year The 3.7-inch Vertu TI has the scratchproof sapphire crystal screen and the lightweight titanium casing which is five times harder than other smartphones. Running on Android 4.0, the smartphone is equipped with the 1.7 GHz processor, an 8MP rear camera and a 1.3MP front camera. Vertu TI is handmade by a single craftsman at Vertu's headquarters in Hampshire, England. Every VERTU Ti is signed by the craftsman before being distributed to buyers worldwide. In a related development, FPT Technology Products Company has set a target of selling 600,000 FPT-branded smartphones this year, said Le Hoang Hai, deputy general director of the company. FPT forecast the sales volume of smartphones would increase twofold this year, accounting for 30% of the total number of mobile phones sold in the domestic market, versus 15% last year. Smartphone consumption in Vietnam is rising rapidly. Therefore, FPT this year will … [Read more...]

Import price hikes anticipated, importers indecisive about plans

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VietNamNet Bridge - The dong devaluation will make goods, especially imports, become more expensive, but analysts say prices will increase slowly. Automobile joint-ventures and car distributors have not made any price adjustments since August 12, though the State Bank has devalued the dong by one percent and widened the forex trading band by two percent. However, a car dealer said the car price was very likely to go up in several days. Not only importers, but domestic car assemblers will also have to raise selling prices, because the weaker dong will make car components more expensive. He said the price adjustment may be made soon and the price increase would be 2-3 percent. However, a source from Euro Auto, the authorized distributor of BMW and MINI products, said the company might not raise the selling price. An analyst said with the latest foreign exchange adjustment, the dong has lost 2.7 percent of its value against the euro, but the dong still has appreciated by 6.12 … [Read more...]

Agencies cannot explain $20 billion discrepancy in China-VN trade figures

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VietNamNet Bridge - The $20 billion gap between China’s and Vietnam’s figures about trade revenue still cannot be explained. The General Statistics Office (GSO) has proposed controlling smuggling, which it sees as a cause behind the discrepancy, while the General Department of Customs (GDC) believes it is necessary to change the statistical method. GSO and GDC still cannot explain the big gap in Vietnam-China trade statistics raised by National Assembly’s deputies two months ago. According to Phan Sinh, deputy head of GDC’s Information Technology Agency, both Vietnam and China follow the United Nation’s standards when counting imports and exports. However, he said with the current method, the gap in the statistics released by Vietnamese and Chinese agencies will be wider in the future. The biggest gaps will be seen in products with global supply chains. In 2014, the electronics, phone and phone accessories exports reported by Vietnamese agencies … [Read more...]

Vietnam capable of building oil rigs larger than China’s Haiyang 981

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VietNamNet Bridge - Building large oil rigs is within Vietnam’s reach, according to Pham Tien Dung, general director of PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Services Corporation (PV Drilling). ' Thanh Nien newspaper has quoted Dung as saying that PV Drilling began building the first oil rig in 2002, and put it into operation in 2007. Since then, the oil rig has been operating well, finding oil in most of wells. Vietnam is now capable of building large oil rigs, even larger than the China’s Haiyang 981 which China deployed on Vietnamese territorial waters in May 2014, according to Dung. Haiyang 982 is described as stronger and more modern than existing oil rigs, which allows it to operate well in the severe conditions of the East Sea. VnExpress quoted sources as reporting that China began building Haiyang 982 on July 1 at a shipyard in Dailan. The building is expected to be completed by the end of 2016 when it will be transferred to China National Offshore Oil … [Read more...]

Is incineration technology out of date?

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VietNamNet Bridge - Small-scale incinerators, set up to treat waste and protect the environment, are causing pollution and spreading germs.The truth about waste incinerators A report from the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE) shows there are about 50 domestic solid waste incinerators in the country, most of which are small scale, with capacity of less than 500 kg per hour. Two thirds of the incinerators are made and assembled domestically. Nguyen Thanh Yen from the Waste Management and Environment Improvement Agency said Vietnam tends to set up incinerators in every district to treat domestic waste in localities. The solution, though it treats local waste immediately, is scientifically unreasonable. Yen said most of the incinerators have small capacity. It is difficult to control the emission of secondary pollutants into the air. Incineration technology is considered out of date, while incinerators, especially the small ones, are discouraged and … [Read more...]

Students taught to lie in literature lessons

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VietNamNet Bridge - Teachers described by Vietnamese students in their compositions are all slender and have long black hair, while the personalities in their essays are all heroes. This is because students have to write what they are told to write, not write what they think. A parent from Hanoi complained on an online education forum that she was disappointed reading her son’s composition about his teacher. The boy is a fourth grader at a prestigious school in the city. "My son’s teacher appeared in the essay as a beautiful young girl with long black hair, though I know for sure that the teacher has short blonde hair," she said. "The bigger problem is that the teacher on the essay written by my son’s friend, who lives next door, is exactly the same, with long black hair and charming smile," she continued. "My son explained that all of his classmates write the same way as they were told by the teacher." A high school teacher in Hanoi noted that the story does … [Read more...]

Dong A took a false step when trading gold

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VietNamNet Bridge - Dong A Bank, which was once of the best joint-stock commercial banks in Vietnam with advantages in card technology and retail banking, has gone downhill because of the gold trade. Just one week after Dong A Bank was put under the State Bank’s control, its CEO Tran Phuong Binh, a veteran banker, was dismissed from his post. Dong A remains the only bank in Vietnam which has technology allowing ATM (automatic teller machines) to sell gold. Dong A was one of the bank pioneers in developing card services. In 2005, when other Vietnamese commercial banks applied simple card technologies, Dong A became a ‘big guy’ in the field. It hired Viet Kieu (overseas Vietnamese) experts who had worked for many years for CitiBank to help develop the card center. Dong A was the only Vietnamese bank CitiBank once eyed in 2006-2007. The US-based bank once sent a group of 60 experts to negotiate with Dong A on buying Dong A’s shares. A deal might have been … [Read more...]

It’s time to start 4G

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VietNamNet Bridge - Experts believe that it is time for mobile network operators to open the 4G playing field. Viettel has announced it will begin providing 4G services soon. Qualcomm Indochina’s CEO Thieu Phuong Nam believes that 2016 is the time for telcos to utilize 4G because of the readiness of terminal devices and technology advancement. Nam said the number of clients using 3G has been increasing rapidly, accounting for 1/3 of smartphone subscribers. Meanwhile, the prices of smartphones in general and 4G smartphones in particular are on a sharp decrease, while more and more low-cost models have appeared in the market. Qualcomm, for example, has 4G integrated into all chipset models, including products such as Snapdragon 200. The telcos’ worries about expensive terminal devices will no longer exist. Nam said that 4G deployment will bring new great opportunities to mobile network operators. 4G may give a push to the mobile industry, helping increase the sales of … [Read more...]

Unprotected by local authorities, people take over polluting factories

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VietNamNet Bridge - Laying siege to polluting factories to prevent the factories from continuing discharging untreated waste into the environment is the choice that many people make because they cannot rely on the local authorities. Hundreds of people in Duong Kinh district of Hai Phong City in late August laid a siege to Thanh To factory to demonstrate their protest against the Duc Viet Anh Trade Company’s and De Nhat plastics workshop’s activities which cause the environment pollution. Local people said Duc Viet Anh is organizing the production in a place just 300 meters from the residential quarter. In March 2013, the company began cooperating with Da Nang Ore Company, which was forced by local authorities to stop production one year before, to smelt ore. People have many times lodged complaints about the polluting factory to local authorities, but the problem still has not been settled so far. Duc Viet Anh maintains its operation despite a strong protest from … [Read more...]

University students unhappy about career path

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VietNamNet Bridge - Many students are unhappy even though they have successfully enrolled in universities, because they have to follow subjects of learning for which they have no passion. A student at Hanoi University of Technology, from Thanh Hoa Province, for example, visited the school to apply to study at the automation faculty. But he seemed to be indecisive. Prior to that, he registered to study at the pharmacy school. However, with a 26 score, he realized that he did not have opportunities to obtain a seat at the prestigious school. Therefore, he decided to study automation, though he really did not want to. "I dream of becoming a pharmacist. But I think I will not have opportunities to study at the Hanoi Pharmaceutical University," he said. "It will be a big waste of my parents’ money if I have to prepare for the national exam once again," he said. "I have no other choice. I have to apply for the automation faculty if I want to follow university education," he … [Read more...]

Vietnam loses $2.5 billion after oil price plummets

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VietNamNet Bridge - The crude oil price in the world market has dropped to around $40 per barrel, as predicted by management agencies. However, the situation may become even worse, as international analysts believe the price could drop to $20 per barrel. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil price dropped to $40.25 per barrel on August 21, down by $0.78 per barrel compared with the day before. The price level represented a sharp fall of 57 percent over the same period last year. In early 2015, when the oil price hovered around $60 per barrel, the Ministries of Finance (MOF), Industry and Trade (MOIT) and Planning & Investment (MPI) drew up three scenarios for the national economy, when the price continues dropping to below $60, $50 and $40 per barrel. At that time, though the oil price decreased rapidly, government officials and economists were still optimistic enough to think that the $40 scenario, the worst one, would not occur. They thought the price would bottom out at … [Read more...]

A tour around Saigon on a weekend afternoon

Tourists can also sit on a cyclo to explore the streets in the center.

VietNamNet Bridge - Sitting at the corner of Turtle Lake to chat with friends and taste snack food, or walking around the 30/4 Park and stopping to see the old church is a nice way to spend the afternoon. Opposite the church is the city's post office, which attracts many foreign tourists each day. The post office has been repaired and repainted. Visitors will find memories of old Saigon, and will have the opportunity to meet Mr. Duong, a letter writer who has worked at the post office for more than 60 years. VNE/VNN … [Read more...]

Bank M&A deals cool down near year-end

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VietNamNet Bridge - Analysts believe Merger & Acquisition (M&A) deals will be quiet for the rest of the year, while deals under negotiation will complete necessary procedures. Earlier this year, investors privately speculated that Dong A Bank would merge with ABBank. A senior official of the State Bank then affirmed the central bank would create favorable conditions for the two banks to merge. However, in March the State Bank said one of the two banks had some problems. Rapid-fire information about Dong A Bank has since been released. Kido, a sweets manufacturer, was reported considering injecting money into Dong A in its strategy to jump into the banking sector. However, it later cancelled the plan because of ‘Dong A’s unsettled problems’. Later, a source from Dong A Bank said a foreign investor was considering investing in Dong A. And most recently, the bank has been put under the State Bank’s special control because of its ‘serious … [Read more...]