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Vietnam: New Draft Decree on Internet Services Issued for Public Consultation

Published on 20 Jul 2023 | 3 minute read
This step demonstrates the Vietnamese Government's commitment to adapt and modernize its internet regulations

On 17 July 2023, the Ministry of Information and Communication (“MIC”) published a new version of the draft Decree (“Draft Decree”) superseding Decree No. 72/2013/ND-CP on the management, provision and use of internet services and online information ("Decree 72") for public consultation. This step demonstrates the Vietnamese Government's commitment to adapt and modernize its internet regulations to meet the demands of the current digital landscape.

The growing influence of foreign internet services in Vietnam has brought both opportunities and challenges. It has provided users with access to a diverse range of services and improved online experience. However, it also raises concerns related to data privacy, content moderation, and competition with local businesses. As the influence continues, finding a balance between reaping the benefits and addressing potential challenges will be crucial for Vietnam’s digital development. In addition, online IP infringement is getting more complex and serious than ever, especially after Covid. There are expectations from IP owners and State authorities to take more rigorous measures to tackle this issue before it becomes too big.

Notable points in the Draft Decree.

  • Supplementing regulations on verifying social networks’ user accounts via mobile phone numbers in Vietnam: There is currently no regulation guiding the Cybersecurity Law on the content of Article 26.2(a) that domestic and overseas providers of telecommunications services, internet services and value-added services in Vietnam’s cyberspace have the responsibility to (i) verify users’ information when they open digital accounts, and (ii) provide users’ information for professional cybersecurity forces of the Ministry of Public Security (“MPS”) upon request in writing to support investigations into cybersecurity violations. This supplement will help create synchronization in user verification for both domestic and overseas social networks.
  • Simplifying licensing conditions for providing online video game services: Please note, however, that cross-border provision of online games is still prohibited. Cross-border service providers must set up a local entity in Vietnam to comply with the Draft Decree.
  • Focusing on national security protection, particularly:
    • Domestic and foreign organisations and individuals providing information on the Internet must prevent and remove illegal content affecting national security at the request of the MIC: This regulation is supplemented to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of handling malicious content affecting national security on the Internet.
    • Supplementing regulation on blocking accounts, community pages, community groups, content channels: Domestic and cross-border social networks must temporarily or permanently block social networks accounts, community pages, community groups, content channels that frequently or seriously violate national security.
  • Supplementing a quick measure to handle organisations and individuals that violate the law, i.e. to stop providing internet services to them.
  • Adding regulations on livestream management, including:
    • Only social networks that hold a social network license (for domestic organisations and enterprises) or have an operation notice with the MIC (for foreign organisations and enterprises providing cross-border services in Vietnam) are allowed to provide online video streaming (livestream); and
    • Specialized activities provided in the form of livestream must comply with the appropriate laws.
  • Supplementing regulations to protect the rights of social network users:
    • Social networks must publicly describe the process and methods of distributing content on their platforms for users to consider using;
    • Social networks must have a department to receive and handle users’ complaints;
    • Adding regulations to protect children when using social networks. For example, domestic organisations and enterprises providing social networking services only allow persons above the age of 16 to register for an account.
  • Both domestic and cross-border social networks must provide a content searching and scanning engine at the request of the MIC: This could mean that social networks must proactively monitor user-generated content on their platforms.

For both domestic and foreign internet service providers, keeping a watchful eye on the progress of the Draft Decree is imperative. Adapting to any forthcoming changes swiftly and ensuring compliance with updated regulations will be crucial to navigate the evolving landscape of the tech industry and maintain smooth and lawful operations.

For further information about the Draft Decree, please contact us at

Authors: Yen Vu and Ly Nguyen

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Principal, Vietnam Country Manager Rouse Legal Vietnam
+84 28 3823 6770
Principal, Vietnam Country Manager Rouse Legal Vietnam
+84 28 3823 6770