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...]

The unique products of the “Coconut Kingdom”

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VietNamNet Bridge - Ben Tre Province residents showcased many unique products at the 2015 Coconut Festival, including handicrafts made with the leaves and roots of coconut trees. The fourth annual week-long coconut festival wrapped up in the southern province of Ben Tre on April 13, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors and raking in nearly $950,000 in revenue. This year’s festival offered 17 different events, including exhibitions, trade fairs, a cultural-arts and sport week, a coconut food festival, a cuisine competition and a workshop on the role of credit in farm produce for export in the Mekong Delta. The fair brought together over 250 domestic and foreign firms displaying products at 700 booths, notably a variety of handicrafts made from coconut shells, leaves and flesh like coconut facial masks and musical instruments. An art installation of a 400 metre coconut road covers 14,000 square metres in Cai Coi park, My Thach An commune, divided into three spaces: " … [Read more...]

Vietnam boy opens 66 beer bottles in one minute with teeth

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VietNamNet Bridge - The world record is opening 54 beer bottles with teeth in one minute, but Le Hong Giang from Thanh Hoa surpassed that figure by opening 66 bottles. Giang said he did not feel hurt but excited. The record was made at a beer festival: opening 240 bottles of beer by teeth. Giang began practicing his technique at the age of 14. "I found it was slow and inconvenient to open beer bottles by a bottle opener so I used my teeth. The first time I took a few seconds to open a bottle, but I did not feel pain or bleed," Giang said. Giang is well-known in his village for this ability. The parents strongly opposed Giang doing this for fear of affecting the tooth enamel. But after learning that it is his special ability, they allowed Giang to perform the ability at beer festivals and circus performances. Giang said: "I have never had tooth decay, bleeding or rupture. I am not afraid of my tooth breaking, I hope that this ability is recognized by people." According to … [Read more...]

Vietnamese willing to spend more in 2015, brand-name goods market warms up

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VietNamNet Bridge - Recent surveys have found that Vietnamese consumers are willing to spend more money in 2015 because they believe the national economy is recovering. Official reports have shown the recovery of the most important indexes, including the industrial production index, which has lifted the spirit of Vietnamese. Though many businesses are still in distress as warned by some pessimistic economists, signs of recovery have become more visible. A report from Epinion, a Danish market survey firm, showed that two-thirds of Vietnamese population are psychologically ready to spend more money in 2015 than in previous years as their confidence has been restored. The demand is believed to be especially high from young consumers, who can earn money and want high-quality brandname goods. Viettrack, a report released in early 2015 by Intage Vietnam (FTA Market Research), showed that 50 percent of Vietnamese were optimistic about the recovery of the national economy. In the … [Read more...]

Businesses prefer offshore loans because of low interest rates

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VietNamNet Bridge - Though domestic lending interest rates have decreased sharply since 2014, Vietnamese businesses are still seeking offshore loans because of the lower capital needed. The HCM City Branch of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) reported that 750 city businesses had borrowed medium- and long-term loans by the end of 2014, worth $6.25 billion. Of the borrowers, 66 percent were foreign invested enterprises (FIEs) and 34 percent Vietnamese. Outstanding loans by the end of 2014 were $3.65 billion, of which $3.5 billion was provided in cash, and the remaining in goods. The figure represents a 9.7 percent increase in comparison with the end of 2013. Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the HCM City Branch, said the FIEs’ loans were ones in which subsidiaries in Vietnam borrowed money from their holding companies. Meanwhile, Vietnamese enterprises borrowed from foreign partners to buy machines and equipment on instalment. In some cases, businesses and individuals … [Read more...]

Vietnam Football Federation gives life bans to match-fixing players

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VietNamNet Bridge – The Viet Nam Football Federation (VFF) yesterday (April 15) decided to ban six players for life from V.League 1 club Dong Nai FC for match fixing. Former captain Pham Huu Phat, as the mastermind of the scam, was fined VND30 million (US$1,400), while the rest were fined VND20 million ($950) each. Players have the right to appeal the decision. The players were arrested after a match between Dong Nai and Quang Ninh Coal on July 20 last year. Fighting, bad language Three players and one coaching assistant have been disciplined for using bad language and fighting during the ongoing National Futsal Championships in HCM City. Ton That Phi of Thai Son Bac, Nguyen Dac Huy of Tan Hiep Hung were fined VND 5 million (US$240) and banned for five matches each. Co Tri Kiet of Tan Hiep Hung was fined VND5 million and sidelined for four matches. Assistant Truong Hong Tai of Tan Hiep Hung was told to pay VND2 million and spend two matches in the stands due to his … [Read more...]

Hoang Sa submarine inventor issues challenge to science department

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VietNamNet Bridge - The Hoang Sa submarine will be launched on July 3, says the sub’s inventor Le Nga. He plans to invite officials of the local science department, who had doubts about the sub’s viability, to the launching ceremony. Nga, 50, created his tank, submarine and helicopter in a room covering an area of 6 square meters in Hue City. Nga told Dat Viet that he is preparing for the sub launching by adding more equipment to make it "stronger". In order to allow it to dive under the water, Nga some months ago installed three more propellers to raise the total number to six. Nga has also reinforced the battery power so that the sub can dive for a longer period of time. A camera has been installed at the head of the sub, which will take pictures and transmit images to people ashore, so that they can watch all activities of the sub. The function of transmitting live images, according to Nga, is very important, because it helps search for antiquities and dead … [Read more...]

Symphonic poem, new violinist take on Opera House

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VietNamNet Bridge – The symphonic poem Kieu and violinist Nguyen Thien Minh will both make their debuts at the Ha Noi Opera House on Friday and Saturday at 8pm. Overseas Vietnamese Dang Hong Anh composed Kieu. She based her work on the epic poem The Tale of Kieu, penned by Nguyen Du and considered one of the greatest pieces of Vietnamese literature. Kieu creates a world based on the emotions and thoughts Anh had while reading the original. The composer narrates the plot through music and builds a symphonic poem with melodic themes and motifs. "I loved the tale when I was small," Anh said. "It was my thesis in music composition in 1993. But I've changed the piece a lot since then and made it better." Anh received her master's degree from the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music in Moscow in 1998. Her works range from solo instrumental, chamber and orchestral to solo vocal and choral music. The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation copyrighted her Suite in Four … [Read more...]

Artist’s sculptures recall women’s war sacrifices

Courageous mothers: Artist Lai Thi Kim Thanh (left) describes her sculpture of Ho Thi Bi, who was awarded the title of Hero of the People's Armed Forces.

VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnamese women who contributed to the resistance wars against the French and the Americans have long inspired 55-year-old sculptor Lai Thi Kim Thanh, a native of Long An Province who now lives in HCM City. With her own expense, the sculptor has travelled to every corner of the country with hopes of meeting and sculpting her idols – the mothers who lost children to the war and the courageous women who were soldiers, commandos, spies, messengers and guerrilla fighters. "I think it is my responsibility to record images of the women, because in a few years or so, they will pass away," Thanh said at the opening of her art exhibition at the Women's Cultural House in HCM City yesterday, April 15. "I always keep a big piece of clay with me whenever I go somewhere," she added. In 2006, after meeting Vietnamese Heroic Mother Bui Thi Me, Thanh decided to focus on the women who had contributed to the country's reunification efforts. Over a 10-year period of … [Read more...]

Slow buses keep Hanoi’s modern student apartments empty

Apartment buildings for students in Ha Noi's Cau Giay District. Many apartments in the newly built Phap Van-Tu Hiep residential quarter remain empty due to transport difficulties.

VietNamNet Bridge – The dust is settling and taps remain dry in thousands of rental apartments in the newly built Phap Van-Tu Hiep residential quarter for students. Despite the complex's modern infrastructure and reasonable rental fee, it continues to remain without occupants. The residential area was built with the purpose of providing accommodation to students studying at universities and colleges around the Ha Noi capital. It is one of two modern residential quarters for students in Ha Noi. Le Phuc Loi, head of Phap Van-Tu Hiep residential quarter's management board, said the residential area was built on a 40,000sq.m acreage in Phap Van-Tu Hiep new urban zone, Ha Noi's Hoang Mai District. The project's biggest investor is the Ha Noi People's Committee. The area's six building blocks consist of 57sq-m apartments all stocked with modern furniture for a potential 22,000 students. Each building block has a canteen, a healthcare room as well as communication services like … [Read more...]

Former policemen jailed for brutality

Five former police officers at the court. — Photo doisongphapluat.com

VietNamNet Bridge – The People's Court of central Phu Yen Province on Tuesday, April 14, sentenced five former police officers to a total of 16 years' in jail for brutality. Nguyen Than Thao Thanh was given eight years for beating a prisoner, Ngo Thanh Kieu, to death during an interrogation. The other four, Nguyen Minh Quyen, Pham Ngoc Man, Nguyen Tan Quang and Do Nhu Huy, were sentenced from one year to two years and six months for the same offence. Another defendant, Le Duc Hoan, received nine months' probation for "negligence of responsibility, causing serious consequences". The five guilty men were also banned from holding police positions for three to five years after being released from jail. Tuy Hoa City Police were also ordered to pay a monthly amount of VND575,000 (US$27) to each child of the victim. The five men were found guilty of beating Kieu, 32, to death while questioning him about his alleged involvement in a burglary that took place in 2012. According to … [Read more...]

Scholarship unveiled for university students in VN

Dr.Nguyen Thi Xuan Hong – Vice Chairwoman of Luong Van Can Scholarship Fund is presenting a statue of Master Luong Van Can to members of the Advisory Board: Emeritus Prof. David Beanland (Former Vice-Chancellor and President of RMIT University Australia) and Dr.Michael Mann (Former Australian Ambassador to Viet Nam). — VNS Photo

VietNamNet Bridge – A charity on Friday unveiled the Luong Van Can Scholarships for university students in Viet Nam and abroad and solicited donations from businesses and individuals and fee waiver from universities. The Luong Van Can Scholarship Fund (LCVF) will first begin to provide scholarships to study in Australia. A majority of the scholarships will be earmarked for disadvantaged students. The non-profit will co-operate with many local and foreign universities to provide full and partial scholarships and with a broad spectrum of Vietnamese businesses and industries to provide work placement for students. It will also support local universities with organising conferences and seminars to enhance leadership and management skills in higher education in Vietnam. It has so far raised VND10 billion (US$476,190) for its activities. Universities in Australia, the USA and Singapore are working on more details to provide full scholarships and tuition fee waivers for … [Read more...]

Poetic Mai Chau Valley in the new season

A small village amid the vast fields like an "oasis". Mai Chau valley is mainly inhabited by Thai ethnic group, in addition to a few Muong people.

VietNamNet Bridge - The fields in Mai Chau Valley, Hoa Binh Province are in the new rice season. Everywhere farmers are transplanting rice seedlings. About 130 km from Hanoi, after about four hours on the bus, you will see Mai Chau located in a peaceful valley next to Highway 6. The distance is not too far, combined with spectacular views. Mai Chau has become the favorite destination of tourists. VNE … [Read more...]