Apple Computers is looking at Vietnam as a location for a regional data hub that will serve its Asia operations and is prepared to make an investment of $1 billion USD in support of this project.
Apple has primarily focused its overseas investment into Research and Development (R&D) projects as its core strategy and in 2015 was invested $8 billion USD R&D worldwide. The company currently has R&D facilities in China, Israel, Japan, the United Kingdom, the USA and Taiwan.
Hanoi will be the location of Apple’s Vietnam R&D center and its Vietnam strategy is different from its competitors, such as LG, Microsoft and Samsung who’s Vietnam investments have focused on manufacturing facilities.
Vietnam is attractive to Apple for a variety of reasons; (1) Vietnam has more than 30,000 IT engineers graduate from universities each year – a great source for Apple’s workforce; (2) wages for IT engineers are competitive on a regional basis; (3) more than 50% of the population is under 30 – young Vietnamese are very digital and switched on and represent a long-term market for Apple’s products; and (4) Vietnam represents a hub for access into the Mekong Region.
Apple’s investment of $1 billion USD, coupled with investments from other electronics / IT companies from Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan are positioning Vietnam as a key location for both manufacturing and regional R&D. As one example, Samsung Electronics has recently completed final procedures for building a new Research & Development center in Hanoi with expected investment capital of $300 million USD.
With Vietnam’s increased visibility from the Apple and Samsung R&D center investments it is expected that 2016 and 2017 will see investments from other electronics / IT companies in both manufacturing and R&D who are keen to tap into the Vietnam and Mekong regional markets.