Vietnam fines 'Chinese' store for dealing in yuan and dollars

By Minh Cuong   August 2, 2016 | 03:34 am PT
Vietnam fines 'Chinese' store for dealing in yuan and dollars
Front door of the store in Ha Long City (Quang Ninh Province) that is suspected of having policy to serve only Chinese customers. Photo by VnExpress
The store reportedly discriminated against Vietnamese locals and tourists.

A store suspected of serving only Chinese customers in the northern province of Quang Ninh has been fined VND500 million (US$22,000) for listing prices of goods in foreign currencies, local authorities reported.

In Vietnam, all transactions, payments, listings and advertisements by residents and non-residents must be in Vietnamese dong, except in certain specified cases, according to Decree 95 issued in 2011 by the Vietnamese government.

The company that owns the store located in Ha Long City (Quang Ninh) was fined by Vietnam State Bank inspectors on July 23 after it was caught listing commodities in Chinese Yuan and U.S. dollars. The owner of the company, Bui Thi Muoi, admitted the violation.

According to local media, the store stocks Chinese furniture and other household products. It is one of about ten stores in Quang Ninh that are suspected of only serving Chinese customers, and reportedly discriminate against Vietnamese locals and tourists.

Quang Ninh authorities said these stores have caused serious financial losses and affected the image of Vietnam’s tourism industry, but there has not been enough evidence to charge them until now. Chinese individuals and companies manipulating Vietnam's tourism market have become an increasingly hot topic, even more so after a number of illegal Chinese tour guides were recently exposed for spreading lies about Vietnamese history.

On May 30, Ha Long authorities conducted an inspection of the store and found items listed in foreign currency and staff trading in Chinese Yuan.

A penalty of VND800 million ($35,800) was proposed but the report did not reach the State Bank on time and was therefore deemed invalid. In the end, only RMB18,000 ($2,700) was confisticated.

For the second violation in July, Ha Long authorities sent the report via courier to the State Bank inspector in Hanoi.

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