The Saigon Times Weekly

New rule for media service providers


Cross-border over-the-top (OTT) media service providers, such as Netflix, WeTV and iQiYi, must establish a legal entity in Vietnam to offer services to Vietnamese users.

The new regulation was announced at a seminar held in HCMC by the Ministry of Informatio­n and Communicat­ions to give updates on regulation­s on foreign businesses offering paid streaming services in Vietnam.

According to Nguyen Ha Yen, deputy head of the Authority of Broadcasti­ng and Electronic Informatio­n under the Ministry of Informatio­n and Communicat­ions, Decree 71/2022/ND-CP on management, supply and use of broadcasti­ng and television services which came into force on January 1 this year states that foreign streaming TV services providers such as Nexflix, WeTV and iQiYi must get licenses to operate in Vietnam.

Specifical­ly, they are required to set up a legal entity via a joint venture with a local partner with a ratio of capital contributi­on determined by the Prime Minister. Failing to do so, these providers will be banned from the Vietnamese market. The ministry will work with telecom service operators to block access to their programs.

The above regulation aims to create a level-playing field for local and foreign businesses in supplying paid TV services in the country, Yen noted.

There are 22 paid TV service providers in Vietnam, including five cross-border OTT service providers, with two from the U.S. and three from China.

Under the 2018 Internet Security Law, foreign businesses which earn revenue from online services in Vietnam must open representa­tive offices in the country.

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