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Is Apple preparing to enter Vietnam?

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The fact that Apple has issued new policies recently may be a preparatory step for the firm to officially enter Vietnam's 90 million market.

Apple announced it will refuse to give warranties to the products their owners cannot show invoices to they were bought from Apple’s authorized resellers.

In late March 2017, Votra, Apple’s legal representative, sent a document to a series of private shops distributing Apple’s products imported through unofficial channels, requesting to stop using Apple, iPhone and other Apple logos. The shops were told they had seven days to do this.

Votra pointed out that the use of Apple’s logos and trademarks without Apple’s permission is intellectual property infringement.

A lot of private shops in HCMC have removed Apple’s logo from their signboards after receiving the document. However, they have done this only to large recognizable logos

.The duration of seven days has elapsed, while Apple has not taken any further move. Votra’s representative, who reporters contacted, said he has no further information.

Le Ngoc Lam, deputy head of the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP), commented that Apple took an act of good will when giving warning in advance and seven days to private shops to remo

ve Apple’s logo. In principle, it can sue the private shops without giving warning. If so, the shops will receive heavy fines depending on Apple’s argument about how much it has lost because of intellectual property infringement.

Lam said Apple may have decided to deal with private shops with a heavy hand because it wants to clear the unauthorized sellers to pave the way for authorized resellers to be set up in Vietnam.

Vietnam, a country with low average income, turns out to be a large market for Apple. 

“Vietnamese like Apple’s products, which can be the reason for Apple to decide to penetrate the Vietnamese market. However, it won’t be able to bring goods to Vietnam or make investment in the country once IP infringed goods are still available everywhere,” he explained.

Some other analysts also commented that Apple’s actions seem to aim to ‘clear’ the market to prepare for its official landing in the near future.

An analyst said the official arrival of Apple will be welcomed by Vietnamese, if the prices are not pushed up, because consumers will get the biggest benefits from this once they can enjoy better services.

For many years, two types of Apple’s products have been available in the domestic market – products imported through unofficial channels and original products distributed by authorized resellers.



Source: VietNamNet

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