Home appliance maker says fraud allegations have caused $43 mln in damage

By Nguyen Hoai, Nguyen Ha   September 17, 2019 | 04:08 am PT
Home appliance maker says fraud allegations have caused $43 mln in damage
Asanzo employees assemble TV screens at a factory. Photo courtesy of Asanzo.
Asanzo chairman said at a press conference Tuesday that his firm has suffered VND1 trillion ($43 million) in damage by unproven fraud allegations.

Pham Van Tam, chairman of Ho Chi Minh City-based home appliances maker Asanzo said that "89 days of waiting for a final investigation conclusion has turned what I have built in 20 years to zero."

He reiterated that the firm had not violated any law in importing Chinese components and assembling them in Vietnam, and has resumed operations at four plants after shutting them down last month.

Tam did not elaborate on how the damage was calculated.

Dinh Tien Dung, head of the National Steering Committee Against Smuggling, Trade Fraud and Counterfeiting Goods, which is conducting the investigation, told VnExpress Tuesday a final conclusion has not been reached in the case.

Asanzo called the conference almost three months after an investigation was initiated based on a report by local newspaper Tuoi Tre in June that the company was importing components from China and replacing "made in China" stickers with Vietnamese ones.

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

Asanzo said that it imports about 70 percent of components from China and made the rest, like TV plastic cases and remote controls, in Vietnam.

The trade ministry admitted in June that the country did not have specific regulations on classifying a product as "made in Vietnam."

In its latest bill, it has proposed that if a product has a domestic manufacturing added value of 30 percent of its price, it could be labeled "made in Vietnam".

Asanzo, founded in 2013, has the fourth largest market share in Vietnam's TV market. It has also expanded into the refrigeration, consumer electronics, home appliances, and smart phone segments.

In just three years, it accounted for 70 percent of the TV market in rural areas and 16 percent nationwide.

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