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New Year Special Features '99

  • VASC Cybermall Opens in Vietnam, Eyes Large Sales
  • January 12, 1999 (HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam) -- VASC, the Value Added Services Center, an affiliate of the state-owned Vietnam Datacommunication Corp. (VDC) opened the first electronic mall on Vietnam Net (VNN), a VDC official said.
    "The cybermall features a wide range of items from luxury cars to chili," said Nguyen Thi Tuong Van, VASC's sales manager.

    She said that shoppers don't need to have an Internet account and no registration is necessary. They must only pay a telephone charge of VND65 (US$0.04) a minute, Van said.

    Van said that the virtual mall does not yet have its own URL, and that users can access VDC's Web site and then click on the Vietnam Cybermall icon.

    "Because electronic transactions are not yet popular in Vietnam, customers must pay by cash, checks, telegraphic transfers or term payments," Van said.

    "However, e-commerce with electronic transactions will be available soon at prices 5 percent to 10 percent lower than regular prices," she added.

    On the first day of the cybermall's operations, an order was received for a Daewoo car priced at US$8,800, and it was paid for in cash.

    Nguyen Anh Tuan, director of VDC's Value Added Service Center (VASC), said that VDC is collaborating with Thien Phat Co., Ltd., a Ho Chi Minh City-based private trading company that will provide local users with goods ordered online.

    He also said that the Vietnam Cybermall expects sales of VND140 billion (US$10 million) in its first year.

    "We hope to offset our costs with advertising income, which is expected to reach about US$1.5 million in the first year," he added.

    Truong Dinh Anh, general manager of the Hanoi-based FPT said that FPT will soon open a virtual mall. More than 1,500 items will be available, including clothes, cosmetics, computer components, mobile phones, drinks, books and CDs, Anh said.

    VDC is the largest of Vietnam's five Internet service providers, followed by FPT. VDC has 11,000 subscribers, while FPT has 4,700 subscribers, the companies said.

    (David Tran, Asia BizTech Correspondent)

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    Updated: Mon Jan 11 15:21:51 1999 PDT