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BigPhone dials into local market

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A man browses Facebook on his smartphone in Phnom Penh. Eli Meixler

BigPhone dials into local market

Mobile World Investment Corp (MWG) – one of the largest mobile phone and electronic products distribution chains in Vietnam – will open its first store in Cambodia, operating under the name BigPhone.com, according to Vietnamese state media.

Construction on the first 150- to 200-square-metre store in Phnom Penh is nearly completed and the branch is expected to open this quarter, Vietnam News Agency reported on Wednesday.

The English-language news outlet quoted MWG director-general Tran Kinh Doanh as saying Cambodia was the first market for the company’s regional expansion, which will also see stores opened in Myanmar and Laos.

“Cambodia was chosen to be the first country for the group to approach in Indochina,” he said.

Established in Ho Chi Minh City in 2014, MWG is a fast-growing retail chain for mobile phones and digital devices, including mobile phones, tablets and accessories. It operates a network of stores as well as an online channel.

MWG (Cambodia) Co Ltd registered with Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce last October. The company’s Vietnamese directors could not be reached for comment yesterday.

A study on cellphone and internet use in Cambodia published last year by the Asia Foundation revealed that the Kingdom’s market was already heavily saturated. Over 94 percent of Cambodians claimed to own their own phone handset, with nearly 40 percent of those surveyed claiming to have at least one smartphone.

Bung Hor, CEO of T-Shop, a Phnom-Penh based electronics products distributor with eight branches, said yesterday that demand for mobile phones and accessories had grown significantly with deepening smartphone penetration.

He said the rising demand had driven his company’s expansion, and he was confident there was still room in the market for new retailers of mobile phones and their accessories.

“There are more and more competitors while the demand is also higher,” he said.

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