Juul sounds out Indonesia for growth and targets other Asian countries
Expansion would provide the fast-growing firm with new markets while it faces increased regulatory scrutiny in the US and Israel over the potential health risks of its high nicotine products
JAKARTA/LOS ANGELS — Juul Labs is exploring selling its compact vaping devices in Asia and has sounded out government officials in Indonesia, one of the world’s most smoker-friendly countries, although gaining approval there could face significant hurdles. Expansion into Asia would provide the fast-growing firm with new markets while it faces increased regulatory scrutiny in the US and Israel over the potential health risks of its products’ high nicotine content. Juul representatives held discussions with the Indonesian government in October about introducing its vaping devices, the country’s finance ministry officials said. Indonesia has one of the world’s highest rates of smoking among adults and teenage boys and imposes no penalties for selling cigarettes to minors. It also has a population of 260-million, making it a highly attractive market for tobacco and vaping firms. A person familiar with Juul’s plans said executives for the San Francisco-based company are concerned authori...