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Korean Startups Expand to Vietnam

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South Korean startup companies are planning to use their country's similarities with Vietnam to expand their businesses.

The people of both countries could be called "kindred spirits." In other words, their interests and attitudes are similar. The Vietnamese give high ratings for everything from Korean popular music to Korean TV shows. Marriage between Vietnamese and Korean people is common. And now, both Vietnamese and Korean businesses share a desire to bring manufactured goods into the world of international trade.

Large South Korean companies currently control international television and automobile markets. The next growth is in developing nations such as Vietnam. It is growing at 7 percent a year, compared with South Korea's growth rate of 2 percent.

So South Korea is investing a lot of money into startups in Vietnam. Some of the news businesses are in the areas of cosmetics and hotel smartphone apps.

'Many Korean manufacturers here'

A Korean logistics startup called 2Luck said it would look for ways to work with industrial companies already in Vietnam.

"There are many Korean manufacturers here," Kim Seungyong said. He is the chief executive officer of 2Luck.

His company wants to save time and money by, for example, connecting truck drivers who have brought their goods into an area with those who have goods to be send out.

Approach to education

Other startups are looking at similarities between Vietnam and South Korea. Education is one of the greatest similarities. Korean students and Vietnamese students both spend hours preparing for important tests. Vietnam has the highest international test scores to show for it.

The education company KEII Platform calls itself South Korea's first "edtech," or education technology, business. Its services include teaching math to students via video and having students record themselves doing math on a smartphone app.

"We want to be the number one education platform in Vietnam," Peter Lee said in October. He is the chief executive officer of the KEII Platform.

However, they are competing with several other new startups. Vietnamese companies such as Topics, Elsa and Yola are in the edtech market already.

I'm Susan Shand.

VOA's Ha Nguyen reported this story. Susan Shand adapted it for VOA Learning English. Kelly Jean Kelly was the editor.

Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.

Words in This Story

startup – n. a new technology company

cosmetics – n. a substance (such as a cream, lotion, or powder) that you put on your face or body to improve your appearance

logistics – n. the things that must be done to plan and organize a complicated activity or event that involves many people

efficiency – n. the ability to do something or produce something without wasting materials, time, or energy

platform – n. something that allows someone to tell a large number of people about an idea, product, etc

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