Vietnam's top Internet firm acquires local e-commerce pioneer

By Quang Thuan, Thanh Nien News

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The homepage of Vietnam's leading shopping site 123mua, which was acquired by top Internet service company FPT July 9, 2014 The homepage of Vietnam's leading shopping site 123mua, which was acquired by top Internet service company FPT July 9, 2014

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Vietnam’s top software firm and major Internet service provider FPT acquired 123mua, one of the first shopping sites to prosper in Vietnam's decade-long e-commerce boom.
VNG, the country’s leading Internet content provider, finalized the deal with FPT Wednesday to merge 123mua.vn into the latter’s shopping site Sendo.vn.
A source from FPT said they will honor contracts signed with 123mua’s customers, which boasts more than 30 million online shoppers.
The new site will offer delivery nationwide, the source said.
In the last year, e-commerce has picked up in Vietnam, which has one of the biggest Internet communities in the region, to the excitement of both local and foreign investors.
Figures from the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s e-Commerce and Information Technology Department last October showed that more than 34 million out of the country’s 90 million people use the Internet.
Eighteen million Vietnamese shopped online last year, spending an average of US$150 each.
123mua, which has been around since 2004, was still doing well late last year.
Nguyen The Dong, managing director of 123mua.vn, told Thoi Bao Kinh Te Saigon last November that traffic jumped to 5.5-6 million hits a month, with the website adding around 2,000 new shops every month, selling around 80,000 items, mostly fashion and hi-tech items, to young consumers.
Foreign takeovers have already occurred.
Japan’s leading integrated trading company, Sumitomo Corporation, last August picked up a 30 percent stake from Tiki.vn. The Vietnamese site sells more than 40,000 items, including books, electronics, home appliances, fashion goods, and stationery.
The site had already sold a stake to Japanese investment firm CyberAgent Ventures.
Last April Hanoi-based PeaceSoft Solution Corporation sold a 50 percent stake in NganLuong.com, one of Vietnam’s first digital wallets and online payment portals, to MOL Access Portal Sdn Berhad, the Malaysian unit of MOL Global, one of Southeast Asia's biggest Internet companies which handles more than 60 million transactions every year worth over $300 million.
Last month, FPT also inked a deal in Berlin to take over a Slovakian IT subsidiary of the European energy conglomerate RWE.
The company chairman Truong Gia Binh told Bloomberg earlier this year they planned to complete two takeovers in 2014 to boost international sales.
FPT, whose clients include Microsoft Corp. and Panasonic Corp., earned $130 million from overseas markets in 2013 and plans to raise that figure to $340 million by 2016.

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