Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms in Vietnam with millions of users. It has been used as an efficient marketplace for shop owners to trade their products online with limited costs and with high consumers reach.
Due to the COVID pandemic which has adversely affected Brick-and-Mortar businesses, livestreaming has risen as a powerful way for online retailers to impress and attract consumers and to quickly complete transactions with customers. However, recent raids in Vietnam reveal many livestreaming platforms sell counterfeit products worth millions of US dollars.
Recently, a raid was conducted in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province at a large shop, where numerous counterfeit products were found. The targeted shop owner could not show any proof of the origin of the products on the premises.
According to the shop owner, all the products traded in the shop were bought from An Dong Market and Cho Lon Market in Ho Chi Minh City and Dong Xuan Market in Hanoi. The shop owner sold the counterfeit products online through livestreaming every day with employees livestreaming their products on Facebook and with ten other employees noting bills and preparing deliveries.
The profits from the livestreaming counterfeit sales were incredibly high. In July 2020 for instance, the profits were 1.7 billion Vietnam Dong (equivalent to more than 70,000 US dollars) with more than 5,000 purchases.
The counterfeit products sold included sunglasses, bags, luggage, shoes, clothes, etc. and included such well-known brands as Gucci, Chanel, and Hermes. None of the products had legitimate owner documents and were determined as counterfeit. The counterfeit products confiscated were estimated to worth billions of Vietnam Dong.
The Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province raid was one of several raids where the owners owned a large warehouse and traded their products by livestreaming on Facebook. In July 2020, a 10,000m2 warehouse in Lao Cai was raided which had revenues of nearly 30 million US Dollars in the past 2 years.
Many articles have been published by the Vietnamese Government Authorities and popular newspapers to warn consumers to be aware of livestreaming counterfeit activities. Nonetheless, livestreaming counterfeiting has grown and prospered due to the COVID pandemic and the efficiencies such platforms provider to the counterfeiters.
To resolve the growth in counterfeiting in Vietnam through livestreaming and other avenues, from the beginning of 2019 up to now, the Vietnamese Functional Forces resolved to do everything possible to seize all counterfeit goods and fake goods being sold in Vietnam. As a result of the efforts made by the Vietnamese Authorities, many massive raids of large warehouses using livestreaming to sell counterfeits have taken place.
The increased focus of the Vietnamese Authorities on livestreaming counterfeiting activities is a welcome development, particularly since a significant portion of counterfeits are now sold through such illegal online activities.