There were 90 mobile games of different types on the apps. The games were distributed on Netflix and via Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. In order to play the games, users needed to download them from app stores. Also, they could also download games on the Netflix app.

After games were downloaded, users could log in on their Neflix accounts to play.

On April 10, the Ministry of Information and Communications’ (MIC) Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information (ABEI) sent a dispatch to Netflix, requesting the platform to strictly observe Vietnamese laws when providing electronic games online.

ABEI discovered that Netflix was advertising unlicensed electronic games on its app and providing games to Vietnamese users. It was also providing many electronic games on Apple and Google stores without licenses for operation in Vietnam.

This violated Article 31 of Decree 72/2013 on managing, providing and using internet services and online information.

In the dispatch, ABEI requested Netflix to stop game distribution and advertisements prior to April 25, 2024. If Netflix does not do as requested, MIC will join forces with watchdog agencies to handle the case in accordance with Vietnamese laws.

All the games provided by Netflix are unlicensed in Vietnam. These included violent games with 18+ label, such as GTA, and dating games for people 16+.

After receiving the document, Netflix contacted the watchdog agency to learn about the regulations on electronic game distribution management in Vietnam.

The platform has stopped advertising and removed all electronic games on Netflix app and Apple App Store and Google Play Store. It has also expressed willingness to continue receiving guidance from state agencies during its operation in Vietnam.

Netflix users have confirmed that they can no longer continue to play games on the platform, and the game bar on the app has disappeared.

The representative of a domestic game distributor said that Netflix’s game distribution without a license was unhealthy competition.  

Vietnamese game developers and distributors have complained about the unfair treatment between domestic and foreign game distributors. Foreign game distributors don’t pay tax or undergo censorship. Meanwhile, Vietnamese distributors have to pay 10 percent VAT and corporate income tax. The zero tax alone creates a big advantage for foreign distributors in the Vietnamese market.

Trong Dat