A workshop organized in HCM City, attracting representatives of 200 SMEs, in late September was held to help Vietnamese SMEs boost exports through transnational e-commerce, as well as help Vietnamese enterprises connect with Singaporean ones.
However, as analysts noted, this was actually a marketing event for Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce platform. The organizer of the event was Innovative Hub, with headquarters in Singapore, and Alibaba’s global partner. Most of the panel speakers had relations with Alibaba.
After taking over Lazada some years ago, Alubaba began penetrating the Vietnamese market. In late 2018, Alibaba signed an agreement with Fado and turned Fado into its authorized partner in Vietnam, aiming to help Vietnamese SMEs offer their goods around the world through Alibaba.com.
And now it has brought Innovative Hub from Singapore to Vietnam with the hope to accelerate market expansion and compete with Amazon.
In 2017, AliPay came to Vietnam through cooperation with NAPAS, the national payment corporation of Vietnam.
|In late 2018, Alibaba signed an agreement with Fado and turned Fado into its authorized partner in Vietnam, aiming to help Vietnamese SMEs offer their goods around the world through Alibaba.com.|
However, analysts warn that with what happened in the past and the current status of the e-commerce market, Alibaba's journey in Vietnam won’t be easy. In the retail sector, Lazada is lagging behind, while in wholesale and export, Amazon is one step ahead.
In Q1 2018, Lazada had the highest number of visitors of online marketplaces in Vietnam, 42.5 million visitors a month. However, the latest report showed that Shopee has ousted Lazada from the No 1 position.
According to iPrice Insight, in Q2 2019 Shopee had the highest number of downloads, followed by Sendo, while Lazada was in the third position.
The fall was blamed on the decision by Alibaba to appoint a manager for Alibaba Vietnam. The manager has been replaced by James Dong who will take care of both the Thai and Vietnamese markets.
In cross-border e-commerce, Alibaba is behind Amazon. Alibaba has just begun luring Vietnamese SMEs and helping them export via Alibaba, while Amazon began doing this last year.
In September 2018, Amazon, together with the Vietnam E-commerce Association, organized Selling Globally on Amazon and announced a series of solutions to help sellers in Vietnam boost exports online and access users all over the world.
In September 2019, the Ministry of Industry and Trade announced it will cooperate with Amazon Global Selling to help Vietnamese enterprises boost exports via e-commerce. In August 2019, Amazon Global Selling presented itself before the public.
Giants Amazon and Alibaba both have ambitious plans for the Vietnamese market.