May 14, 2014 7:30 pm JST

Anti-China mob raids Formosa Plastics campus in Vietnam

DEBBY WU, Nikkei staff writer

TAIPEI -- Formosa Plastics Group said Wednesday its manufacturing facilities in southeastern Vietnam have been looted by anti-China protesters. The incident occurred amid a flare-up in maritime tensions between the countries.

     Group executive Hong Fu-yuan said about 300 people raided the Taiwanese conglomerate's campus in Dong Nai Province late Tuesday night, damaging property and stealing several computers, TVs and monitors. The cost of the damage remains unclear.

     Hong, the general manager of the affected Vietnamese subsidiary, said the Dong Nai campus generates about NT$20 billion ($660 million) in annual revenue. He said there will be no significant impact on the group's overall performance this year.

     "What happened feels like anarchy," Hong said. "The Vietnamese government's inability to stop rioters from pillaging foreign companies is raising major concerns, and it may hurt the country's appeal to international investors."

     The executive said Formosa Plastics is now thinking about refraining from further investment in Vietnam. The group is one of the largest Taiwan-based investors in the Southeast Asian country.

     The Associated Press reported earlier Wednesday that rioters have trashed several foreign-owned factories in southern Vietnam. The violence is part of a swelling public uproar over China's recent move to deploy an oil rig in disputed Southeast Asian waters.

     Citing local media, AP said that while Chinese companies are considered the main targets, demonstrators have also mobbed plants owned by businesses from Taiwan and South Korea.

     Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs told the government-owned Central News Agency that at least one businessman from the island has been injured in the turmoil. The ministry said over 100 Taiwanese companies have been affected.