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Law on Cybersecurity finds little purchase on overseas tech titans



Despite urging by the Law on Cybersecurity, few international companies handling the data of local customers have set up data centres in Vietnam.

law on cybersecurity finds little purchase on overseas tech titans

 Overseas investors show little interest in building data centres in Vietnam

It has been four years since US-based tech titan Apple announced plans to develop a $1 billion data centre in Vietnam. However, to date, there has been no further moves.

Indeed, to date, no overseas companies opened data centres in Vietnam,although the country has accelerated digital transformation which greatly demands the kind of the establishments.

Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Alibaba are the highlight examples for the issue. Over the years, they have deployed data centres across Southeast Asia, however, Vietnam has never been one of their choices.

Microsoft and Google already have data centres in Singapore. Amazon is planning to launch a similar, $2.7 billion project in Jakarta, Indonesia next year or in early 2022. Alibaba in 2018 also announced developing a third data centre in Jakarta, following its two facilities in Malaysia and Singapore.

Article 26.3 of the Law on Cybersecurity stipulates that any domestic or foreign enterprise providing services on telecom networks, the internet, and other value-added services in the cyberspace in Vietnam who collects, uses, or processes data on users’ personal information, their relationships, or data generated by service users in Vietnam must store this data in the country for a yet undetermined period of time.

Thus, under the regulation, global tech businesses have to establish their own data centres or hire servers in Vietnam to store data generated from the country. As soon as the law was drafted, plenty of overseas tech companies spoke out against it mainly because of the large expenditures it would take to develop such facilities.

Research published by US-based business management consultant SP Home Run showed that the minimum expense for a data centre is about $1,000 per square foot. Thus, a 1,000-square-metre facility would cost about $1 million while a data centre Facebook or Google might use would cost somewhere between $250 and $500 million.

Regarding this, Vu Sy Cuong, an economic expert told VIR that tech giants like Facebook and Google have no need for a new data centre in Vietnam because they already have similar facilities in Singapore and other regional countries.

“Their existing facilities are large enough to handle data storage across the region,” Cuong said. “Opening other facilities in the same area will cost them a lot, so they are unlikely to open data centres in Vietnam.”

Over the years, overseas tech titans’ data storage services in Vietnam are mainly cloud computing services relying on data centres abroad.

Amazon Web Service is an example. With only 13 data centres, Amazon provides cloud computing services tomore than one million companies across the globe. In Southeast Asia, Amazon’s coming project in Indonesia will be responsible for handling data storage for the entire region.

Facing the protests of companies, the Vietnamese government remained adamant, claiming the law is necessary and the regulation has not interrupted internet operations at all.

The law has been benefiting Vietnam in diverse ways. First, it helps to better supervise cross-border service providers operating without representative offices in the nation. Specifically, to comply with the law, TikTok opened a representative office in Vietnam as soon as it entered the market last year. Netflix is working with local authorities to soon launch its representative offices here.

Second, with the requirement of storing data right in Vietnam, businesses have to open their own data centre or lease servers from local suppliers. Both choices would contribute to the development of the local data centre market.

The data centre is one of the up-and-coming sectors in Southeast Asia with the annual growth rate of 6 per cent, according to Viettel IDC. Specifically, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam are the most promising markets in the region.

Vietnam is the regional market recording the fastest growth with a double-digit compound annual growth rate in 2019-2024, according to information shared by Viettel. Accordingly, the local market was valued at $165 billion in 2018 and is forecast to reach $294 billion in 2024.

A cloud-computing specialist at Viettel IDC told VIR that foreign firms establishing data centres will help diversify choice for local consumers– a solid base to flourish the local data centre market. “The landing of overseas giants in data services in Vietnam reflects the country’s immense potential for the sector. Otherwise, through the partnership with foreign companies, they could improve themselves and increase the ability to meet the requirement of their partners.” VIR

Van Anh



US-based SSA Marine partners with Gemadept to build $6.7-billion logistics centre

The US-based SSA Marine and Vietnam’s Gemadept are collaborating to build the Cai Mep Ha Logistics Center in Vietnam, which is expected to be worth $6.7 billion.



According to local media on September 12, the agreement focuses on the southern Vietnamese port region, particularly the construction of the Cai Mep Ha logistics center.

“The establishment of the Cai Mep Ha logistics center represents not only a leap for Vietnam but for global logistics,” an SSA Marine source stated. “The vision is grand, and the potential is limitless.”

When completed, the complex would span over 2,200 hectares and serve as Vietnam’s top logistics hub. The venture, located in the gorgeous surroundings of Phuoc Hoa district in Phu My town, has a dual-focused blueprint: a cutting-edge logistics center paired with the strategically positioned Cai Mep Ha downstream port.

SSA Marine, the largest US-owned and privately held container terminal operator and cargo handling company in the world, handles 35 million container TEUs per year at its marine and rail terminals and also operates cruise, auto- and Ro/Ro logistics, and IT Solutions.

With 73 years of existence, the firm operates over 250 ports throughout the US, Canada, Panama, Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Asia, and New Zealand.

This modified plan, according to the province’s Department of Transport and consultants, increases the total area from 1,763ha to nearly 2,204ha. The core project space is approximately 1,687ha, including both the logistics center and the downstream port of Cai Mep Ha.

Moreover, the water surface area has been reduced to about 202ha. In addition, land initially reserved for clean energy storage will be repurposed for logistics and port functions.

The strategic planning adjustment aims to extend the port to handle 250,000-ton ships. Logistics and port operations will be redefined on the 198 ha of land, together with possible water surface areas.

Gemadept and SSA Marine are the leading investors, although seven others are interested. Geleximco, ITC, and Besix-Boskalis-Hateco, a Vietnam-EU collaboration, are said to be involved.

Upon completion, this hub will optimize import and export transportation costs across road, sea, rail, and air transit nodes. It aims to receive, store, process raw materials, package, label, and distribute commodities for adjacent industrial zones, notably the CM-TV port cluster, Vung Tau Port, and the southeast coastal port region.

Source: VIR


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Vietnam’s Hai Phong City attracts extra $1.4 billion in foreign investment



Several enterprises from South Korea and Japan were granted investment certificates on Friday to develop FDI projects at industrial parks in the northern port city of Hai Phong, with a total pledged capital reaching nearly US$1.4 billion.

The investment certificate handover ceremony was attended by Le Tien Chau, secretary of the municipal Party Committee.

The Hai Phong Economic Zone Management Board presented an investment certificate to Ecovane, a subsidiary of the South Korean chemicals maker SKC, to develop a hi-tech biodegradable material factory project worth $500 million.

Other key projects receiving the certificates at the event included a BW ready-built factory worth $60 million and a $40-million auto parts manufacturing plant by China’s CCTY Bearing Company.

Besides, Japan’s Kyocera Document Solutions Inc was approved to pour an additional $237.5 million into its machine and equipment manufacturing plant project, raising the project’s total investment to $425 million.

The municipal Economic Zone Management Board also finished the selection of investors for two social housing projects worth a combined $400 million, whose work is expected to begin this year.

Once completed, the social housing projects will offer more than 8,000 apartments to around 22,000 people, contributing to the city’s efforts to ensure social security and stable accommodations for low-income employees.

Hai Phong City in northern Vietnam attracted an additional US$1.4 billion of foreign capital in September 2023. Photo: Tien Thang / Tuoi Tre
Hai Phong City in northern Vietnam attracted an additional US$1.4 billion of foreign capital in September 2023. Photo: Tien Thang / Tuoi Tre

In the year to September 20, industrial parks and economic zones in Hai Phong had attracted roughly $3.1 billion of investment, reaching 120 percent of its 2023 target, said Le Trung Kien, head of the city’s Economic Zone Management Board.

Up to now, over 1,000 FDI projects worth a combined $28 billion have been developed in this northern port city, which granted investment certificates to 45 FDI projects with a total pledged capital of nearly $2.1 billion and 11 DDI (domestic direct investment) projects with a total cost of some $600 million last month.

The city’s Economic Zone Management Board previously had a working session with South Korea’s Chungbuk Free Economic Zone, which sought to cooperate with businesses active in Hai Phong as well as support them in technology transfers and human resources training.

The investment in semiconductor technology in Hai Phong is expected to advance further as SKC, the chemical unit of South Korea’s SK Group, inked a memorandum of understanding with Hai Phong to study the investment environment for advanced semiconductor materials, secondary batteries, and some other eco-friendly materials.

SK Group is the second-largest conglomerate in South Korea, just after Samsung, focusing on four main areas including energy and chemicals; telecommunications; semiconductors and other advanced materials; pharmaceuticals and logistics services, according to the Hai Phong Economic Zone Management Board.

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VinFast’s 5th electric vehicle costs under $30,000



VinFast’s 5th electric vehicle costs under $30,000

VinFast VF 6 is introduced in an even in Ho Chi Minh City on Sep. 29, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nhan

Vietnamese automaker VinFast has launched its fifth electric car, the VF 6 crossover in the small-car segment, with base prices starting at VND675 million ($27,800).

The Plus version, which offers a range of 399 kilometers compared to the base’s 381 kilometers, costs VND765 million.

The battery costs VND90 million for each version.

Any customer who does not buy the battery can lease it for VND1.8 million a month, with a maximum monthly distance of 1,500 kilometers.

Sales begin October 20 and deliveries will be scheduled for the end of this year.

The VF 6 is in the same price range as the Hyundai Creta (starting at VND640 million) and the Kia Seltos (from VND599 million).

The B-segment (European classification’s smallest-car category) is rife with competition in Vietnam thanks to offerings by Japanese, South Korean, German and Chinese brands all seeking a bigger share.


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