WeWork will open two new locations in Vietnam within this month, according to the company’s marketing materials. This is despite the firm’s global woes and the rise of local co-working chains in fast-growing Vietnam.
The two new WeWork locations will also be in Ho Chi Minh City. The firm’s first location in Vietnam was in District 4 of the city, which opened in March this year. It took WeWork about eight months to add additional sites, suggesting its cautious approach in tapping into Vietnam’s competitive landscape for co-working chains.
The local market has already seen the rise of two notable co-working chains: UPGen and Toong. Both have more locations than WeWork and have expanded regionally.
Toong has 14 locations, including two in Laos and Cambodia. Toong is backed by private equity firm Indochina Capital. Meanwhile, with funding from Singapore’s PE firm Northstar Group in late 2018, UPGen has taken its operations to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, bringing its total number of locations to 21 across Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand. In a recent interview with KrASIA, UPGen’s co-founder Namster Do said local co-working chains need to move beyond the “WeWork model” to remain sustainable.
Commenting on the opening of new locations in Vietnam, a WeWork spokesperson told KrASIA in an email: “It is business-as-usual for us. The fundamentals of our business remain strong in Vietnam and we remain committed to continued success locally.”
Last month, WeWork announced the addition of new locations in Singapore and the Philippines, alluding to its continued ambition to capture market share in Southeast Asia’s fast-growing economies. This follows its USD 500 million investment in the region (along with South Korea) back in August 2017.