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.