return icon Vietnamnet.vn

VN social networking sites shaken by draft amendment

More than 500 local social networking sites will need to secure a permit to continue earning revenue if the draft decree amending Decree 72 is approved.

local social networking sites shaken by draft amendment
Over 500 small local social networking sites may have to apply for a permit to continue earning money from their services

 

Social networking sites with more than one million users or 10,000 interactions a month will have to get licensed through the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) to operate in the country, according to Article 23 of the draft amendment to Decree No.72/2013/ND-CP outlining the management, provision, and use of internet services and online information. 

Moreover, only licensed platforms will be allowed to charge subscription and usage fees, not even for live-streaming.

At the end of December 2019, Vietnam had 614 social networking sites, less than 10 per cent of which had more than one million users. Thus, the remaining 90 per cent (more than 500 platforms) do not satisfy the requirements to charge users.

The draft also mentioned that sites with less than one million users or 10,000 interactions a month would have to file a document to the appropriate authorities to get permission to maintain operations.

Discussing with VIR, Trinh Minh Giang, CEO of Venture Management Consulting Group specialised in tech startups, said that small-scale platforms will find it more difficult to earn revenue than their larger counterparts. Accordingly, setting up a social network requires large investment and even the largest local platforms in Vietnam have yet to turn a profit. The common difficulty for local social networks is luring in more users to generate larger revenue streams – which they do by generating user data to attract advertisers. As a result, social networks of a small scale (less than one million users) have been struggling to survive in the race against Facebook and Google's YouTube.

Hence, the amendment would not resolve the issues facing small-scale platforms which heavily outnumber larger platforms in Vietnam. Therefore, Giang advised consulting the related laws of other countries, especially those which have succeeded in creating a win-win situation for both the government and companies, before outlining similar rules in Vietnam. “This will allow the platforms to be hit less by new regulations.”

On the other hand, the draft does not fully cover the gaps related to overseas platforms such as Facebook and YouTube which have been operating in Vietnam without licenses and gathered the lion's share of the country's advertising market.

Indeed, local social networks running in Vietnam without licenses or with expired licenses are fined for VND20-30 million ($870-1,300) following Article 63 of Decree No.174/2013/ND-CP stipulating the administrative sanctions in the telecommunication and postal services. Similar to the latest draft, it has no clauses related to violations by overseas platforms.

Consequently, local platforms have been disadvantaged compared to international players for a long time. Even if the new rules could be extended to overseas platforms, the sanctions are tiny compared to their earnings in Vietnam and would prove little deterrent.

Responding to VIR, Nguyen The Trung, deputy head of Technology Solutions and Security for Local E-government, said that based on the $15-20 Facebook earns from each local user, the social network earns about $1 billion a year in revenue in Vietnam. Similarly, Google ranked second with the annual revenue of hundreds of millions of US dollar.

Previously, the MIC also promisedto take the necessary technical measures in case Facebook shows no willingness to comply with Vietnamese regulations. According to Giang from Venture Management Consulting Group, there should be discussions between the drafting board and representatives of overseas social networks so that the appropriate sanctions can be worked out that would help balance the benefits of operators and business users of these platforms.

“If the platforms are forced to terminate their operations in Vietnam because they do not have licenses, these users will be the first to suffer. They will lose a great deal of important data related to their business, and lose an effective business tool,” said Giang. “The drafting board should also work with international experts to research policies of nations with an effective online environment.”

Otherwise, assessing the current sanctions under Decree 174, Giang said that the local government encourages the development of "Made in Vietnam" platforms, so local platforms, especially small-scale ones, will be supported.

“Social networks could get a fine of medium severity for their first violation of the new rules, which would then increase for the next infractions,” said Giang.

Van Anh

Vietnamese network providers among top 150 telecom brands

Vietnamese network providers among top 150 telecom brands

Vietnam’s top four network providers, namely VNPT, Vinaphone, Viettel, and MobiFone, are listed among top 150 most valuable and strongest telecom brands worldwide in 2020, according to an annual report recently released by UK-based Brand Finance.

Vietnam leads Tutela’s mobile network performance ranking

Vietnam leads Tutela’s mobile network performance ranking

Vietnamese mobile subscribers have a better experience in network quality and speed than users in many Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines, according to a report by Tutela.

MORE NEWS

Vietnamese network operators now manufacturing cameras

Most cameras provided in the local market are foreign made.

Vietnam’s most modern library

Located at National Economics University, the most modern library in Vietnam covers around 10,000 square metres and is funded by the World Bank through the Support for Autonomous Higher Education Project.

China purchases more Vietnamese fruit for lunar new year holiday

Chinese demand for fruit for the lunar new year holiday accounts for up to 50 percent of Vietnam’s total fruit exports. Experts warn that the products may get stuck at border gates.

Press agencies need to become technological institutions: minister

Twenty years ago, editors-in-chief took pride in the fact that while printing machines were working, distributors were sitting eating bread and waiting for the first newspapers to be put out to deliver.

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS DECEMBER 4

Vietnamese innovative startups should strive to become regional, international “unicorns”: PM

Seven more prosecuted in bribery case at foreign ministry

The investigation agency under the Ministry of Public Security has issued decisions to prosecute, arrest and search the residences and workplaces of seven more individuals for their involvement in a bribery case at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES DECEMBER 4

President arrives in Seoul, beginning state visit to RoK

IFC plans to pour 320 million USD into three Vietnamese banks

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has proposed a total investment of 320 million USD in three Vietnamese banks, reported the Nikkei Asia.

Girl with brittle bone disease opens class for poor students

As she wasn't able to fulfil her dream of becoming a teacher due to congenital vitreous disease, Nguyen Thi Ngoc Tam opened a free class for poor students.

Miniature-human sculptures popular with customers

The price of a sculpture ranges from one to five million VND, depending on the difficulty of the model. Eight to 19 ordered products are made per day to guarantee progress as well as the quality of the sculpture for the customer.

Lacquer village outlasts centuries-old craft

Alongside a wide range of products made from natural materials such as wood, bamboo and rattan, the village also has created new gold- and silver-inlaid products made from ceramic, pottery, and composite.

Local firms do business in P2P lending market

P2P Lending has become a hot issue in Vietnam, especially with the participation of Chinese businesses.

Vietnam to hold first cat fish festival soon

Vietnam’s first cat fish festival is scheduled to take place in the southern province of Dong Thap on December 16-17.

Control of bad content on social networks should be tightened

Tik Toker No O No, who criticized the poor, was boycotted by the community and forced to shut down by the authorities. He is not the first Tik Toker that has posted bad content on social networks.

Businesses struggle to keep workers as exports slow

Businesses have been struggling to maintain and support their workers as the Lunar New Year approaches.
back_to_top