SanDisk to sell flash drives, MP3 players in Vietnam

Company looking to tap into area that has become a hotbed of investment for IT makers

SanDisk on Monday said it plans to start selling the Sansa digital music player, mobile phone cards, and USB flash drives to people in Vietnam, citing a growing consumer class in the nation.

The company has teamed up with FPT Corp., a Vietnamese distributor, and Ingram Micro, of Santa Ana, Calif., to tap into Vietnam's market.

There are 23 million mobile phone users and 17.8 million Internet subscribers in Vietnam, SanDisk said, all potential consumers. The nation boasts a population of around 87 million people.

The Southeast Asian country has become a hotbed of investment for global IT makers in recent years.

Earlier this year, Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry, which assembles gadgets such as the iPod for Apple, the PlayStation 3 for Sony, and mobile phones for Nokia, announced plans to invest $5 billion over the next five years in Vietnam.

Last year, Intel announced it would expand a chip packaging and testing project in Vietnam into a $1 billion affair, more than triple the size of the original plan.