Asia Digest: VinFast forays into overseas market; Google to buy Japan’s pring

Hanoi-headquartered electric vehicle (EV) maker VinFast has forayed into markets such as the US, and Canada besides a slew of European countries. In a separate development, Google is said to be acquiring pring to deepen its play in Japan’s digital payment market.

Vietnamese EV maker VinFast opens branches in the US, Europe

Vietnamese carmaker VinFast said it has started its operations in the US, Canada, and Europe, as it gears up to launch electric cars in these markets in March 2022.

VinFast has officially opened business branches in the US, Canada, France, Germany and the Netherlands. While the core teams in overseas markets comprise Vietnamese senior managers, the company has recruited automotive and business experts from international carmakers such as Tesla, BMW, Porsche, Toyota, and Nissan.

“VinFast has designed relevant plans based on each market’s features. In Europe, VinFast will particularly focus on France, Germany and the Netherlands before moving onto other countries,” the company said.

Nguyen Thi Van Anh, who was the firm’s deputy CEO, has moved from Hanoi to the US to act as CEO of VinFast US. Jeremy Snyder, who was with Tesla for more than 10 years, is currently–chief growth officer at VinFast US.

The Vietnamese automaker said it will launch its two electric car models, VF e35 and VF e36, globally in March next year.

“The fact that European and North American governments having announced roadmaps to ban internal combustion engine cars and switch to electric vehicles is a perfect opportunity for VinFast to conquer the global market,” said Thai Thi Thanh Hai, CEO of VinFast Global.

Domestically, VinFast’s first electric car model VF e34 saw more than 25,000 pre-orders after its launch in March this year.

Google said to acquire Japanese e-payment startup pring

US tech giant Google is said to be in talks to acquire Japanese cashless payment and settlement startup pring for a price that could be between 20 billion and 30 billion yen ($180-270 million), Nikkei Asia reported.

The report said Google will buy all shares of the Tokyo-based company from Mizuho Bank and other investors, and will offer fintech services in Japan, such as payments and transfers, next year.

The pring app allows users to make payments, cash transfers, and withdrawals on smartphones and computers.

pring has partnered with 50 Japanese banks and the Seven-Eleven convenience chain, and around 400 corporations in Japan, including Nippon Gas, who use the company to reimburse their employees for expenses and for making payments to small business owners, Nikkei reported.

Meanwhile, Google operates its payment service Google Pay in Japan through partnerships with major credit and prepaid card brands in the country. If the pring acquisition materialises, Google will be able to operate financial services on its own, rather than on behalf of those partners, the Nikkei report added.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.