Electronics firm in trouble over 'Originated in Vietnam' Chinese products

By Nguyen Hoai, Trung Son   June 24, 2019 | 08:02 pm PT
Electronics firm in trouble over 'Originated in Vietnam' Chinese products
Asanzo chairman Pham Van Tam. Photo by VnExpress/Trung Son.
Vietnamese electronics firm Asanzo is in hot water over allegations it has been claiming Chinese imports as its own.

The government has ordered an investigation into Asanzo after a report by Tuoi Tre newspaper, which said Asanzo imports components from China, assembles products, replaces "Made in China" stickers with Vietnamese ones, and sells them as its own.

Asanzo, founded in 2013, has the fourth largest market share in Vietnam's TV market, and has expanded into the refrigeration, consumer electronics, home appliances, and smart phone segments. The company sold 150,000 TVs in the first year, reaching a revenue of VND670 billion ($28.83 million). 

Focusing on the rural market, it accounted for 70 percent of the TV market in rural area and 16 percent in the whole country after three years.

But speaking to correspondents last Sunday, Asanzo chairman Pham Van Tam said this claim is incorrect.

"The so-called peeling off 'Made in China' stickers from our products was in fact the removal of stickers from the back cover of television sets. We cannot verify whether this is true or not yet as it could be a worker being negligent or something like that. I'll need to look into it thoroughly," he said.

"However, to say we put 'Made in Vietnam' stickers on these components is wrong. We only put this sticker once the product is completed, which is the correct thing to do and does not go against the law."

Tuoi Tre claimed that Asanzo did not manufacture any of the components for its products and imported everything from China.

But Tam said: "Asanzo TVs have three components imported from China, the main board, the panel and the screen, which account for about 70 percent of the complete product. All other components such as the plastic case and remote control are made by Vietnamese companies."

Asked about the slogan ‘Asanzo-peak Japanese technology’, he clarified that his company does not produce television sets using Japanese assembly lines but assembles them using Japanese processes.

"It is not necessary for a component to be from Japan for it to be called Japanese technology. Technology here is the technology to control and assess harms to consumers."

The Ministry of Finance, as the standing body of the National Steering Committee Against Smuggling, Trade Frauds and Counterfeit Goods, is in charge of coordinating with other agencies to verify the allegations.

Meanwhile, the Business Association of High-Quality Vietnamese Goods said last Friday it had revoked Asanzo's right to use the ‘Vietnamese High-Quality Goods’ label, and a number of electronic stores such as Nguyen Kim and Dien May Xanh have stopped selling its products.

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