Anti-China protest in Vietnam
A protester gestures as he marches during an anti-China protest in Vietnam's southern Ho Chi Minh city Reuters

Vietnam will compensate businesses hit by anti-China riots which exploded across the country last week over a territorial dispute in the South China Sea.

Factories were torched and at least four workers were killed, according to the Metallurgical Corporation of China, after thousands of people attacked factories and businesses in Vietnam.

Hanoi has promised to provide financial assistance to the businesses affected by the violence, including tax relief, rent waivers and early lines of credit, according to a government statement late Wednesday.

The tax relief measures will include a maximum 30% cut in special consumption tax for 2014, as well as a two-year delay in payments for taxes that arose before this month, the government said.

Vietnam will also remove barriers to hiring foreign workers, it added.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has already called on the finance ministry to push insurance firms to accelerate damage assessments and payments to affected companies.

Anti-China riots erupted last week after Beijing deployed a massive oil rig in a disputed part of the South China Sea that Hanoi also claims.

A number of Taiwanese firms were mistakenly attacked because the crowds mistook them for mainland Chinese firms.

Thousands of Chinese and Taiwanese workers were evacuated from the country amid the violence, although most companies based in the affected areas have now resumed operations.