China has already tried to secure Southeast Asia's minerals and river water by investing in its infrastructure. It also sees the growing region as a frontier for Chinese companies cramped by competition at home.
But Chinese smartphone brands are not flying the red flag, just their own names. Flare-ups like last week's in Vietnam inevitably slow sales of merchandise associated with China. Southeast Asian governments will keep resisting Beijing's maritime expansion and, like Myanmar, diversify sources of investment to avoid depending on a foreign power that threatens local resources or sovereignty.
Hostile toward China for decades, Vietnamese consumers prefer to save for iPhones, says Carmen Le, general manager at Vero Public Relations in Ho Chi Minh City. Those who can't save go with Chinese brands. "People carry Apples," Le says. "No one is impressed with a phone from China."
>>Read More: Can the New Surface Give Microsoft a Boost?>>Read More: Audi Q5 Is the Enthusiasts' Diesel SUV >>Read More: Emerging Market Investors Making Up For Lost Time At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned. Follow @laowiseass This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV