Posted by: Frederik Balfour on June 16, 2008
I’m quite excited at this, my first attempt to break a story by blogging. According to a well placed source with a tech venture capitalist outfit IDG in Vietnam, I learned that tomorrow eBay is set to unveil a cooperative agreement with local outfit Peacesoft Solutions. Though details of the deal are still sketchy, all will be revealed on June 17 at a press conference held at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. For an update on the partnership, please click to my BusinessWeek story here.
To avoid repeating the mistakes it made in China , where in December 2006 eBay beat a retreat from the local market, the company is going to leave the running of its Vietnamese online auction service to people who understand the local market. The local website, called ChoDienTu [which translates to electronic market place] counts IDG Vietnam Venture Capital among its investors, and was founded nearly three years ago. The company runs its own e-commerce site though problems with security and online settlement have restricted the scope for growth. The tie-up with eBay will be a boon for Vietnamese businesses dealing with overseas customers and suppliers, the source told me.
“Markets like this aren’t big enough for Ebay to make direct investments so for them the critical resources are management resources,” he said, “so a tie-up with local partners makes sense. We think e-commerce or retailing are still quite immature in Vietnam and for us these businesses won’ttake off until there are tailored platforms that work.” For now most trades have involved buyers and sellers agreeing on the internet to make face to face cash transactions.