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Businesses told to be on the alert when exporting products to China

Vietnam’s businesses now have great opportunities to boost exports through official channels to China as the Chinese government is encouraging official imports, and the shipping fee is decreasing.

However, they have been told to be cautious when doing business with the Chinese as they may fall into traps set by Chinese businesses.



Betrimex lost Cocoxim brand in China


“We sold canned coconut milk with Cocoxim to China. However, the brand was ‘stolen’ by a Chinese company after it registered the brand in China,” Tran Thi My Hanh from Betrimex said.

“Many partners now want to buy our products, but we cannot sell. It will take time and money to claim the brand back,” she said.

Betrimex lost its Cocoxim brand in China for the last three years. It identified the company which registered the brand in China, but it still has not been able to meet the leaders of the company.

Betrimex lost its Cocoxim brand in China for the last three years. It identified the company which registered the brand in China, but it still has not been able to meet the leaders of the company.

Nguyen Lam Vien, general director of Vinamit, a dried fruit producer, who successfully got its the brand back after a lawsuit, said the company had to spend a lot of time and money on the lawsuit, especially hiring lawyers with deep knowledge and relations.

He said if Betrimex wants to negotiate with the company which stole Cocoxim brand, it would be better to do this soon before the brand becomes strong.

“In general, no matter what Betrimex chooses, it should get the brand back,” he said.

Vien went on to say that Cocoxim is just one of many brands Vietnamese businesses lost to Chinese hands. He knows a coffee company which lost its brand after a period of presence in China and it later had to use another brand to sell coffee to the market.

Meanwhile, some Vietnamese businesses continue to distribute to Chinese partners. Others sell their products without their own brands. In all these cases, it is highly possible that they will become victims.

The first thing that Vietnamese businesses are told to do is register their brands in Chinese language with Chinese agencies. This prevents Chinese businesses from coming to Vietnam to collect products and taking them back to China for sale, which will compete with Vietnam’s official exports.

The second important factor is choosing partners and suitable distribution channels. Businesses have also been advised to set up offices in the market to keep close watch over the staff and the rotation of goods. 

Mai Chi

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