Vietnam's VinFast reports customer to police after 'untrue' YouTube complaints
By James Pearson
HANOI, May 4 (Reuters) - Vietnamese car maker VinFast has reported one of its customers to the police over comments he made on YouTube about the quality of his car.
Tran Van Hoang, a Vietnamese YouTuber with 455,000 followers, uploaded videos about his VinFast Lux A2.0 car containing "untrue content" which "affected the reputation of VinFast," the company said in a May 2 statement.
"Although Mr. Tran Van Hoang proactively removed those clips, we saved all the evidence and have sent our complaints to the police," the statement said.
"The police have received our submission and have scheduled a time to work with Mr. Hoang".
VinFast, part of the Southeast Asian country's largest conglomerate Vingroup VIC.HM, plans to launch its electric vehicles in the United States next year, its CEO told Reuters last week.
It is also looking at a possible share sale that could value it at $60 billion, and plans to sell cars in Canada and Europe.
In the now-deleted video, a copy of which remained on the Internet Archive website, Hoang had said he was proud to own a VinFast car and was only reluctantly highlighting problems.
Vingroup was founded by Vietnam's richest man, billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong, and has interests spanning real estate, resorts, schools, hospitals and smartphones.
In a statement to Reuters, VinFast repeated that it had sufficient "sufficient grounds to prove that it is not just a normal complaint."
"This is the first time we have reported someone to the authorities in order to protect our reputation and our customers," VinFast said.
"If a similar incident were to occur when operating in the United States, we will also submit a request to the authorities in accordance with local law, and to protect our legal rights".
VinFast declined to say to which police department they had reported the case. An official who answered the phone at police headquarters in Ho Chi Minh City, where Hoang is based, said they were unaware of the case.
Hoang, the YouTuber, declined to comment.
(Reporting by James Pearson, Additional reporting by Phuong Nguyen, Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Louise Heavens)
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.