Vietnam’s e-commerce market sees many new arrivals

The map of Vietnam’s e-commerce market is being redrawn as more and more foreign firms have entered the field.

Vietnam is among the fastest growing commerce markets. E-commerce makes up 0.5 percent of value of the FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) sector in the four largest cities, while the number of online shoppers increased from 5.4 percent to 8.8 percent in urban areas within one year. The value of one online shopping cart triples the value of a traditional shopping cart.

The recent report of Kantar Worldpanel says that Vietnam’s e-commerce activities grew by 69 percent in 2017. Meanwhile, Frost & Sullivan predicted that Vietnam’s market value would rise from $1.7 billion in 2016 to $3.7 billion in 2030, or an annual growth rate of 45 percent.

Chinese firms

Analysts warned that Chinese online retailers are penetrating the Vietnamese market, putting pressure on domestically made products.

JD earlier this year announced investment in Tiki to become one of the biggest shareholder of the e-commerce firm. While JD declined to reveal the amount of capital, Tiki has said that it had raised $50 million worth of funds to expand its business.

Prior to that, Alibaba launched in Vietnam in April 2016 after it wrapped up the takeover of Lazada in SE Asia.

Headquartered in Singapore, Shopee is still listed among Chinese firms in Vietnam as 40 percent of Shopee shares are held by Tencent, a Chinese technology group.

All three Chinese ecommerce markets entered the Vietnamese market through mergers and acquisitions.

According to Google, Lazada, Shopee and Tiki are three out of four most searched e-commerce websites in Vietnam.

Chinese not the only foreign players

However, with investors from the US and Japan entering the field recently, the worry about the dominance of Chinese firms has been lifted.

Most recently, Japanese Scroll acquired 26.9 percent of shares of Cat Dong, the company that owns cungmua.com, nhommua.com and Shipto.vn. This is the second time that Cat Dong transferred capital during its 8-year operation.

Prior to that, Cat Dong received investment from ACA Investment, a Japanese fund belonging to Sumitomo which once poured money into Bibomart and Son Kim Land.

In early March, the e-commerce market welcomed Amazon. The US giant, instead of making investment deals, decided to join hands with the Vietnam E-commerce Association. With the cooperation, Amazon wants to help Vietnamese businesses export their products on the Amazon platform.

By: Thanh Lich (Vietnamnet)