Vietnam's top conglomerate Vingroup to foray into smartphones

HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam’s biggest conglomerate Vingroup JSC is making its first foray into smartphone manufacturing and sales, aiming for success in the Southeast Asian nation where smaller rivals have failed to dent the popularity of Samsung and Apple phones.

Vingroup said on Tuesday it has established VinSmart Co with registered capital of 3 trillion dong ($131.54 million) to produce smartphones and other smart electronics devices. The phones will be sold under the Vsmart brand.

VinSmart will also conduct research on artificial intelligence and will be located in the port city of Haiphong, Vingroup said in a statement, adding that it is already working with advisers on acquiring technologies and production equipment for the new project.

Vietnam, a nation of 93 million, is the largest smartphone production base for Samsung Electronics. Vingroup has operations in the real estate, education, healthcare, tourism and entertainment, retailing, agriculture and automobile manufacturing sectors.

Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman