Digital content firms meet legal barriers

Last update 07:45 | 22/09/2017
VietNamNet Bridge – The digital content industry is witnessing a shift in devices from computers to smartphones. 


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But state management policies have not changed, making is difficult for digital content firms to do business as they have to both comply with the laws and satisfy requirements set by platform providers.

Nguyen Thanh Hung, director of VTC Intecom, said the development of the digital content industry is hindered by strict regulations.

Hung’s firm previously developed news websites and as soon as the content was posted, state management agencies called and ask for explanations. Later, the firm decided to post the content on Facebook, and the firm did not receive any inspection officials.

Nhan The Luan from Nhaccuatui commented that the common problem of all Vietnamese digital content firms is that they have to compete with big foreign companies while their wings are ‘tied’ with unreasonable regulations.

Luan said in the past some Vietnamese companies had asked to develop social networks before Facebook became so strong. However, the projects died young because Vietnamese investors had to comply with strict regulations.

A problem for many years is that while Vietnamese companies have to pay a lot of tax, foreign companies which provide cross-border services don’t have to pay personal income tax and corporate income tax, or have insurance policies. 

A problem for many years is that while Vietnamese companies have to pay a lot of tax, foreign companies which provide cross-border services don’t have to pay personal income tax and corporate income tax, or have insurance policies. As a result, the production cost of Vietnamese products is much higher and the products less competitive.

Nguyen The Tan, CEO of VCCorp, commented that the ‘odd protection mechanism’ has caused Vietnamese businesses to lose the home market.

“Young Vietnamese businesses need support to develop, but in fact, they meet many barriers that make them unable to grow, though I am sure barriers are not what the state agencies want,” Tan said.

While Vietnamese businesses have to follow strict regulations, bear inspections and pay fines if violations are found, foreign companies don’t. Facebook doesn’t have to have its content examined or explained to state management agencies if bad content is posted.

Under current regulations, businesses only provide the services for which they are licensed. If they are news website developers, they cannot develop social networks, and if they are online music service providers, they cannot develop news websites.

However, in the internet industry, there are apps which can be a social network, news website and music website, and users can do many things, from reading news, listening to music and playing games to livestreaming.

Tan said it is necessary to create policies which force foreign companies to comply with Vietnamese laws when providing services in Vietnam.

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