A Vietnamese electronics company has been discovered importing Chinese products and disguising them as locally made merchandise for sale, according to an exposé by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
Asanzo Vietnam JSC, a Ho Chi Minh City-based electronics firm, has become well known across the country for its wide range of products, namely televisions, refrigerators, air conditioners, smartphones, and various household appliances.
The firm earned a certificate of high-quality Vietnamese goods voted by consumers in 2017 and it has claimed that its products are manufactured domestically using modern Japanese technology.
A probe by Tuoi Tre, carried out on a tip-off from a close source claiming that Asanzo’s electronic products are not actually manufactured by the company, has uncovered a hidden truth about this firm.
It has been discovered that the company only assembles televisions using components originating from China, while all other home appliances of Asanzo are finished products imported directly from the East Asian country, the source stated.
On September 7, 2018, the Ho Chi Minh City customs department, after being notified by Tuoi Tre, started examining a shipping container arriving at a local port, with the consignee being Sa Huynh Company.
While documents showed that the shipment included electronic parts used in the manufacturing of ovens, officers found a total of 1,300 finished products inside the container.
All of the ovens inside the shipment were branded Asanzo. Each of them was kept in separate boxes along with warranty certificates written in Vietnamese.
Customs officers were unable to find the name of the Chinese company that had shipped these products to Sa Huynh Company.
|Workers unload Chinese electronic components in front of Asanzo’s factory in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Tuoi Tre continued to look into the importer of the said shipment, Sa Huynh Company, whose business license shows that it is headquartered in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, and eventually learned that it was a bogus address.
The business license also states that the director of Sa Huynh is a woman named H.T.S.Q.
Your correspondents managed to find the whereabouts of Q., and arranged a meeting with her in her hometown in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang in February 2019.
Q. said she and her husband used to work at an Asanzo factory in Vinh Loc Industrial Park in Binh Tan District, Ho Chi Minh City.
As they started working there in mid-2018, the company asked for her ID card to “help [her] open a bank account and kept it for two days,” Q. recounted.
On September 24, 2018, a person named Kieu from the company office admitted to Q. that her ID had been used for the importation of a shipment, she continued.
|A container truck, which carries Chinese rice cookers and electric water boilers imported by Phuong Nguyen Company, arrives at Asanzo’s factory in April 2019. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
The shipment, however, was held up by customs officers, thus Q. was requested to go to the customs department to sign her name and pay a fine in order to clear the volume of goods, the woman quoted Kieu as saying.
The woman turned down the request without any hesitation. She and her husband both quit their job at Asanzo and returned to their hometown the following day.
“Kieu called me multiple times to convince me [to help them clear customs for the shipment], but I never agreed to do so,” Q. asserted.
Sa Huynh Company eventually had a new legal representative, Truong Ngoc Liem.
During a recent working session with authorities, Liem said he and his accessories had used Q.’s ID to register for Sa Huynh Company and made her the director.
|An Asanzo employee removes the ‘Made in China’ label from a product. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Numerous bogus companies
Sa Huynh was not the only bogus company of Asanzo, as 18 others were also found having imported Chinese household appliances and electronic components on behalf of this Vietnamese brand since 2014.
The first shipment, which contained 1,335 LCD panels used in TV production, was purchased by Su Po Company in June 2014.
In the same year, Bao Ngoc Company imported hundreds of defective LCD panels from Hong Kong Konka Company, based in China.
Since 2016, such companies as Tran Thoan, Nguyen Tuan, Nam Tien, Khai Phong Sai Gon and Viet Nhat have imported rice cookers, electric blenders, ovens, and electric water boilers.
All of these firms do not have a real address.
Three subsidiaries of Asanzo are also on this list of firms as they have imported thousands of Chinese electronic appliances that were all stamped with the Vietnamese brand.
These products would then have their ‘Made in China’ labels removed and replaced with Vietnamese ones before being put on sale.