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...]

Petrolimex incurs huge losses

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VietNamNet Bridge – Holding nearly 50% of the domestic gasoline market, Petrolimex Group suffered huge losses last year, mainly caused by its subsidiary in Singapore. Petrolimex Singapore incurred losses of about $31.38 million in 2014 due to the fall of oil prices and complicatedly geopolitical development in the world. The figures come from a report to the Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang last December by the representative of Petrolimex, Bui Ngoc Bao, who is Chair of Petrolimex. The report showed that the main cause of losses came from the purchase of gasoline at a time when gasoline prices were high ($120.91/barrel on average) for stocking at the VanPhong bonded warehouse. As the oil prices fell later, the firm could not sell the gasoline, resulting in prolonged inventory. At the same time, the derivative operations were also affected the same way, incurring losses of about $2 million. "Petrolimex Singapore has incurred huge losses and is facing … [Read more...]

Khanh Hoa vows to develop Phoenix beach project amid criticism

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VietNamNet Bridge - The Khanh Hoa provincial authorities have shown their strong determination to develop Phuong Hoang beach (Phoenix) in Nha Trang City, ignoring protests from organizations. The sea city of Nha Trang in the central province of Khanh Hoa has become a "hot spot" of the country as provincial authorities have agreed on the Indian Dewan Group’s project on developing construction works in the east of Tran Phu – Pham Van Dong, the major road which faces the seaside. The group has got permission to implement two projects, including the Phoenix Garden 40-65-storey complex, covering an area of 50,000 square meters, and the 40-45-storey hotel & service complex, covering an area of 10,000 square meters. The Khanh Hoa provincial Union of Science & Technology Association (USTA), former chair of Khanh Hoa People’s Committee, and Secretary General of the Khanh Hoa Tourism Association all have advised against the Phoenix beach development … [Read more...]

UAE group wants to build $500 million parking lot in HCM City

The UAE business delegation.

VietNamNet Bridge - EPS Group from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) proposed to build an intelligent parking lot in HCM City in the form of BOT (build - operate - transfer), at a cost of $500 million, at a recent meeting with HCM City’s Chairman Le Hoang Quan. Rustam Ibragimov, representative of EPS Group, said the group has invested in parking lot projects in 19 countries. In HCM City, if its project has been approved, EPS will develop a system of parking areas, traffic monitoring, traffic control center and vehicle warranty, among others. At the meeting, Chairman Le Hoang Quan said the city is calling for investment in projects such as tramway, tourism real estate, underground parking lots, high-rise parking lots and some metro routes. The city’s public transport system can meet only 15% of travel needs and local authorities want to raise the rate to 25-30% in the future by calling for investment in infrastructure projects, including tramway and metros. Quan said to … [Read more...]

BAKV launches Vietnam’s first high-end smartphone

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VietNamNet Bridge – BKAV – Vietnam’s leading network security firm – launched its first smartphone Bphone on May 26, after many advertising campaigns. Related news Bkav-style marketing "explosions"BKAV criticized for misleading advertising for smartphoneBKAV-made smartphone gets bad rap even before its releaseBKAV to produce trully Made-in-Vietnam smartphones Before the launching ceremony on Tuesday, which reportedly cost VND10 billion (nearly $500,000), with 2,000 guests, held at the National Convention Center in Hanoi, the public had been stirred up by information about "a Vietnam-made smartphone, comparable to the iPhone". BKAV managers said the smartphone could compete with iPhone and Galaxy Note but the details of the product had been kept secret. BKAV managers also said the firm planned to sell the product worldwide and would compete directly with iPhone and Galaxy Note, the products in the same segment. "The best known technology groups in the world … [Read more...]

HCM City wants to borrow World Bank’s loans to combat flooding

A market at Binh Tan District, HCM City is flooded after raining.The city People's Committee has submitted a plan to State officials to address flooding problems.

VietNamNet Bridge – The HCM City People's Committee has submitted a plan to State officials to address the city's flooding problems. Most of the VND9.9 trillion (US$460 million) flood risk management proposal would be financed with Official Development Assistance (ODA) funds from the World Bank ($422 million), the city authority said on Monday. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and the Ministry of Planning and Investment must review and approve the measures before they take effect. The HCM City Steering Centre for Anti-flooding Programme would connect the city's existing infrastructure to counter flooding caused by high tides and increase the city's water drainage capacity, according to the city's proposal. It would also work on cleaning waterways. The plan has three phases. During the first phase, the city would update its hydro-meteorological centre's equipment, flood risk database, early warning system, flood response capabilities and canal system. In the second phase it … [Read more...]

VN Aviation Administration to tighten baggage security

Customs check security at the Noi Bai International Airport. The Civil Aviation Administration of Viet Nam has issued a plan to ensure aviation security.

VietNamNet Bridge – The Civil Aviation Administration of Viet Nam (CAAV) has issued a plan for better management and prevention of theft of passengers' baggage and cargo, and to ensure aviation security. The plan has been issued following an incident in which the personal belongings of a group of passengers going from Bangkok, Thailand, to Ha Noi by Vietjet Air last Saturday were stolen from a suitcase. The suitcase's lock had been broken. The CAAV has been checking all regulations related to the process of receiving, delivering and transporting passengers' luggage, to add more necessary regulations. It aims to tighten management and assign detailed responsibility to organisations and individuals at different stages of the luggage-handling process. The CAAV asked agencies in the aviation sector to check all employees who are connected to luggage and goods transporting services. The CAAV also has set preventive security measures, such as the frisking of employees and checks … [Read more...]

Egyptian trance duo Aly&Fila to rock Ha Noi

The Egyptian trance music duo Aly&Fila is coming to rock Ha Noi on Friday -- File photo

VietNamNet Bridge – The Egyptian trance music duo Aly&Fila is set to rock Ha Noi on Friday. The party is expected to fuse the feel of a large-scale festival with a unique intimate atmosphere and connection to the stage and performers. The duo comprises Aly Amr Fathalah (aka Aly) and Fadi Wassef Naguib (aka Fila). They host an Internet radio show called Future Sound of Egypt. In 2011, their track We Control The Sunlight, which featured Jwaydan Moyine was chosen as Tune of the Year on Armin Van Buuren's show A State of Trance. Aly&Fila is currently ranked No. 28 in the DJ magazine, among the top 100 DJs in the world, ranking consistently in the top 30 of this list every year since 2008. They delight crowds, now numbered annually in the millions, bringing their inimitable sound to the world's most prestigious clubs and festivals. Named by Bandsintown as the most active musical act in the world for 2014, the duo has visited a staggering 46 countries. Trance is a genre … [Read more...]

Entertainment floods Hanoi

Vim and vigour: Thien Nhan, winner of The Voice Kid 2014, debuts her live show today. She will perform the songs that impressed audiences during the contest. — Photo hanoimoi.com.vn

VietNamNet Bridge – As International Children's Day (June 1) nears, Hanoian children seem to have an abundance entertainment options, with several new plays and music programmes set for the occasion. Popular cartoon characters will star in a new music and dance programme to be performed by the Youth Theatre from May 30 to June 1. Entitled Adventure in the Cartoon World, the show centres on Anna and Elsa, the princesses from Frozen; Baymax from Big Hero 6; Maleficent from Maleficent; and Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. Mischievous characters from other cartoon series will appear, including from Oggy and the Cockroaches, Upin-Ipin, The Pink Panther, and the Russian-made Nu, Pogodi! (Well, Just You Wait!). Alongside this performance, the Youth Theatre will also debut De Men Phieu Luu Ky (Adventures of a Cricket). Adapted from the children's tale of the same title written by To Hoai, the play tells the story of a cricket who leaves his nest and travels around. He grows … [Read more...]

HCM City wants to share profits with Phu My Hung

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VietNamNet Bridge - The operator of the high-end urban area Phu My Hung has contributed $18 million to the Phu My Hung joint venture, but the Vietnamese party has not shared the profits. In a petition to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the HCM City People’s Committee said that in some cases in which state-owned companies cooperated with foreign enterprises in joint venture firms, they did not share profits although the joint ventures earned big profits for many years. The reason was that the ownership rate of the State firms in joint venture companies was too small, so they could not decide on the distribution of profits. The Phu My Hung Development Co., Ltd is a joint venture between the Central Trading & Development Corporation of Taiwan and Tan Thuan Industrial Development Company Limited, a State-owned firm under the management of HCM City authorities. The legal capital of the joint venture company is $60 million, including $18 million contributed by the … [Read more...]

Rolling out the “red carpet” at border gates: are investors vulnerable?

GC, the largest duty-free supermarket in Moc Bai border-gate economic zone has been closed due to losses.

VietNamNet Bridge - The closing of G.C., the largest duty-free supermarket at the border gate economic zone of Moc Bai (Tay Ninh province), has posed questions about rolling out the "red carpet" for businesses at border gate economic zones in Vietnam. On Nov 26 2013, the Prime Minister signed Decision 72, applicable from May 15 2014, on not selling tax-free wine, beer etc. for tourists, including buyers from Cambodia at border-gate economic zones. Subsequently, on May 15 2014 the Ministry of Finance issued Circular 109, applicable from Oct 1 2014, on immediate taxing (import duty, luxury tax, value added tax), on goods imported from foreign countries into non-tariff zones. Companies in the border-gate economic zone of Moc Bai said they had to close because of these regulations. "Death" caused by policy change According to G.C. supermarket, the regulations almost completely eliminated benefits and incentives for businesses operating in the border-gate economic zone of Moc Bai. … [Read more...]

BAKV officially launches its high-end smartphone

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VietNamNet Bridge – BKAV – Vietnam’s leading network security firm – launched its first smartphone Bphone on May 26, after many advertising campaigns. Related news Bkav-style marketing "explosions"BKAV criticized for misleading advertising for smartphoneBKAV-made smartphone gets bad rap even before its releaseBKAV to produce trully Made-in-Vietnam smartphones Before the launching ceremony on Tuesday, which reportedly cost VND10 billion (nearly $500,000), with 2,000 guests, held at the National Convention Center in Hanoi, the public had been stirred up by information about "a Vietnam-made smartphone, comparable to the iPhone". BKAV managers said the smartphone could compete with iPhone and Galaxy Note but the details of the product had been kept secret. BKAV managers also said the firm planned to sell the product worldwide and would compete directly with iPhone and Galaxy Note, the products in the same segment. "The best known technology groups in the world … [Read more...]

Phu Yen water-supply plants break down as water shortage worsens

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VietNamNet Bridge - The dry season has just begun, but the water shortage in the central province of Phu Yen has become serious. Meanwhile, multi-billion water supply projects in the locality are not working properly. Phu Yen’s people have been experiencing scorching days for many months, when the temperature was 35-39oC. The rice fields have been affected and water wells dug by residents are becoming depleted. Thousands of households do not have enough water. "The wells are depleted. We have to take water from streams for daily use. We have no other choice," said Le Thi Sen in My Phu hamlet of An Hiep commune. The water shortage is most serious in Son Dinh commune of Son Hoa mountainous district, where 500 local households live. Half of the households, mostly poor families, have to buy clean water at a high price of VND60,000-70,000 per cubic meter for daily use. Every house has two to three personal water wells. However, the wells only give water in the rainy … [Read more...]