It was reported in a Hanoi business newspaper this week that Apple is poised for its first-ever investment in Vietnam by setting up a US$1 billion data center in Hanoi. Apple is reportedly "completing necessary investment procedures, and looking for a suitable location for the facility," reports the media group that promotes news from the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), one of Vietnam's largest trade promotion agencies.
The reported data center will serve Apple's Asia operations and may also feature research and development (R&D) activities. While it is unclear when Apple's Hanoi project will begin, Apple's decision is seen as an appreciation toward the business environment in Vietnam.
If Apple initiates investment in Vietnam, other major investors may follow suit, adding to the attractiveness of the Southeast Asian country's investment environment.
Last year Apple earmarked more than $8 billion, or three percent of its revenue for the fiscal year ending September 2015, for R&D, according to the report. Apple currently runs R&D centers in the UK, China, Taiwan, the U.S., and Israel and has begun construction of a new facility in Japan. The company's R&D center in India is scheduled for opening this June.
The report noted that "Many of Apple's rivals such as Samsung and LG from South Korea, and U.S. giant Microsoft, already have operations in Vietnam." Samsung's investment alone is noted as being worth $11.2 billion, with two multi-billion mobile production facilities.