Made-in-China smartphones becoming more popular in Vietnam

VietNamNet Bridge - Despite their reservations about the quality of made-in-China products, Vietnamese are still spending money on Chinese smartphones which have low selling prices and strong features.


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Vietnamese still spend money on Chinese smartphones



At smartphone shops in Hanoi and HCM City, the most advantageous positions on shelves are reserved for Samsung and Apple, while the areas for Oppo, Huawei and Vivo are nearby. In the past, these areas were reserved for HTC, LG, Blackberry and Asus.

The Vietnamese market in the last two years has seen a huge influx of Chinese smartphone brands. 

Several years ago, when the first Chinese smartphone models turned up in Vietnam, analysts predicted that Chinese products would not sell because of the perceived lack of quality of Chinese goods and information security problems.

But Chinese-made smartphones, which were initially brought to Vietnam across border gates by travelers, are now imported through official channels and available at the biggest retail chains.

While the products of Oppo, Xiaomi, Huawei, Honor and Vivo, the better known brands, are distributed through large distribution chains, the products of weaker brands are available on online retail websites.

An analyst estimated that there are tens of Chinese smartphone brands in Vietnam, putting pressure on brands such as HTC, LG and Blackberry.

Vietnam was one of three markets that Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun visited in 2017. In early 2018, the first authorized shop distributing Xiaomi products opened in HCM City. The CEO lists Vietnam on a par with the Indian market because of the high growth rate. 

With strong sales, Vietnam is seen by Chinese smartphone manufacturers as a key market in their international expansion strategy. 

Vietnam was one of three markets that Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun visited in 2017. In early 2018, the first authorized shop distributing Xiaomi products opened in HCM City. The CEO lists Vietnam on a par with the Indian market because of the high growth rate. 

Meanwhile, the demand for smartphones remains high as nearly half of mobilephone users are still using basic phones.

A report from GfK said that in 2017, Oppo had the second highest number of sales, below Samsung and above Apple. Oppo began penetrating Vietnam’s market in 2012.

GfK also pointed out that in March 2018, three out of five brands with the largest smartphone sales were from China – Xiaomi, Huawei and Vivo. The Chinese brands outstripped giants like Sony and ousted Asus and HTC.

According to Tony Phung, a technology expert in HCM City, Chinese brands are well known in Vietnam because they sell medium-tier products at low prices, the market segment which is “scorching hot” now in Vietnam. 

Phung said that Chinese brands are doing well with products priced at VND5-8 million.


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Thanh Lich

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