Disco fever, Hanoi style.
Southeast Asian manufacturers fared better at CES last week than companies from Africa, South America or even India, where the exhibitor count was two, none and ten, respectively.
I counted a total of twenty-one companies from the ASEAN region, with Singapore accounting for thirteen of those and Thailand with three.
Tosy, the sole Vietnamese manufacturer, had the biggest floor presence. The Hanoi-based toy maker was demonstrating its range of dancing robots on a big stage in the Las Vegas Convention Center's Central Hall. They've exhibited at CES in the past, and it showed.
Heroic realism for the machine age.
Two Malaysian companies had small booths: Inetmon, an enterprise networking company that was showing an integrated conferencing platform, and TC Electronics, which produces a line of car audio products. Two exhibitors came from Indonesia as well. Maestro Community had its Vinzo brand tablet and smart phone cases in its booth, while Nano HiFi had its ultra compact home audio system on display.
There were plenty of products that were made in Southeast Asia at the show. The region is a major outsourced manufacturing center. So this year's trickle of home-grown companies looking to build internationally recognized brands has the potential to turn into the tsunami of CES exhibitors that China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea have produced.
Beside accounting for an increasingly dominant share of the flagship displays in Central Hall, those four countries also accounted for all of the small booths in the two halls at the Venetian hotel that were designated as the CES International Gateway. Their technology industries got big boosts from off shore manufacturing too. Expect the pattern to continue in Southeast Asia.