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Amazon, Alibaba race to recruit Vietnamese merchants


Amazon, Alibaba race to recruit Vietnamese merchants

The Amazon logo seen at Amazon campus in Palo Alto, California, U.S. Photo by Shutterstock/Tada Images.

Global giants Amazon and Alibaba are racing to recruit more Vietnamese vendors on their platforms seeking to boost their share of a booming e-commerce market.

Amazon saw the number of Vietnamese merchants exporting at least $1 million worth of goods from Vietnam triple last year. The surge was driven by demand for tools, kitchenware, handicrafts, home goods, and apparel.

“Vietnamese sellers have enriched our global product selection,” Gijae Seong, head of Amazon Global Selling in Vietnam, told Nikkei Asia.

Amazon Global Selling is a business set up to recruit more Vietnamese merchants on Amazon, seeking to boot e-commerce trade between Vietnam and its largest export market the U.S.

The company opened a Hanoi office in March to train new sellers, adding to its Ho Chi Minh City branch.

Seong said companies “have competitive advantages in manufacturing” in Vietnam, where a wave of factories have relocated from China to sidestep the trade war with the U.S. and to reduce other costs and risks.

China’s Alibaba has also been making moves to have more Vietnamese sellers.

In March, a company representative said that it planned to have over 10,000 Vietnamese small and medium-sized enterprises selling on its platform by 2025.

It has been working with government authorities since last year to run training programs for Vietnamese vendors.

As of March, over 300 companies have been provided consultancy in online cross-border sales.

The competition between the two giants is heating up as e-commerce booms in Vietnam with rising demand for online shopping amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s e-commerce market expanded by 18 percent last year to $11.8 billion, the only country in Southeast Asia to record double-digit growth amid the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Vietnam e-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency.