HANOI -- Vietnam's largest conglomerate, Vingroup, has signed a contract to produce smartphones for a U.S. company, marking the next phase in its aggressive expansion into overseas markets.
Vingroup is expected to produce a total of up to 2 million units of four 4G-compatible smartphone models under an original equipment manufacturer deal. Some handsets have already been shipped. Though the company has not disclosed its client, Bloomberg reports that it is wireless carrier AT&T.
"This is an important step to supplying our own products to the U.S. market," said Le Thi Thu Thuy, chief of Vingroup's smartphone producing unit VinSmart. The subsidiary plans to soon start selling 5G-compatible smartphones in Vietnam, and aims to begin offering them in the U.S. next year.
The group began producing smartphones in 2018. VinSmart operates a plant in Hanoi, and has an annual production capacity of about 125 million units. Its phones are currently sold in Vietnam, Russia, Myanmar and Spain.
VinSmart controlled 11% of the Vietnamese smartphone market in the April-June quarter, according to Singaporean research company Canalys. It ranked fourth, after Samsung Electronics, Oppo and Vivo.