Technology Shopping Paradise in Vietnam – China border area

In the Vietnam – China border area of Lang Son province, high-end mobile phones such as iPhone or Nokia E71, E72, E75 are numerous and sold easily like vegetable. However, all of them are fake products.

The rumor that everything can be found at the border markets in Lang Son areas and that everything is dirt cheap here has been attracting a lot of shopaholics. It is true that everything here is very cheap, but the problem is that many goods here are counterfeit and low-quality. Although people have been warned, they still go these markets in Lang Son as they are lured by the cheap prices.


“You can find a wide range of electronics, from mobile phones, music players, to radio, mini cameras, bugs, record pens or binoculars. Especially, iPhones look so beautiful like the real products,” bichtrinh1402, who has returned from Lang Son, wrote on her blog.

At first, sellers always ask for sky high prices. However, in the end the buyers manage to get them down to just just 1/2 or 1/3. And as they think they bought the products at good prices, they feel very satisfied with the purchased items. Only after they return home and use the purchased products, do they find out that the products are counterfeit goods and cannot be used.

A member of diendancntt forum wrote that he purchased some cheap USBs at a market in Lang Son. He only paid 80,000 dong for a 4G USB, while such an USB is sold at hundreds of thousands dong in Hanoi. However, the cheapest is the dearest. “I could not copy any song to the USB and then the USB broke down. The counterfeit USB even damaged my laptop,” he complained.

Nguyen Thanh Vinh, a student of the Hanoi Transport University, said that the touchscreen mobile phone he purchased from a market in Lang Son province at 1.3 million dong got full admiration from his friends because it looked very smart and it had many functions. However, the mobile phone’s “life expectancy” was short, just several days. Bluetooth and WiFi died just after a few days.

A lot of housewives, who were delighted with electric cookers, non-sticky frying pans, irons and other household appliances were also caught in a trap of counterfeit goods

Van, an employee at 3C Computer Company, related that she once purchased 10 blow-dryers at 100,000 dong for three products. “When I plugged it in, the plastic on the handle melted, and the smoke rose,” she said. However, she still felt lucky that she did not get electricity shock with the blow-dryer.

“A relative of mine went to Lang Son province on business and he bought an electric cooker for me. The product was very cheap, just 200,000 dong. However, I could only use it for two weeks. I got so annoyed that I decided not to buy Chinese goods any more,” said Hang, a housewife in Chuong My district in Hanoi.

“If you travel to Lang Son, you can buy many things at low prices. However, you should not buy electronics,” a member of diendancntt advised.

“You get what you pay for. Don’t think that Chinese goods are cheap. If you count on the expenses you have to pay to fix the problems and the low quality of the products, you will see that they are not cheap at all,” another member wrote.

An, a reporter of a local newspaper in Hanoi related that he was very careful when looking for goods to purchase. “I always asked the seller to test the products before I paid the money. Everything seemed to be okay there, but they break down at my home,” he said

“I am afraid that in a short time, the world will become a rubbish dump full of low quality products which cannot be decomposed. We would be better off using Vietnamese goods because Vietnamese goods have better quality,” a member of diendancntt wrote.

However, it is not easy to persuade people to use Vietnamese goods instead of those low quality goods, since Vietnamese people are still enticed by the low prices.

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