Google, Facebook may be asked to open rep offices in Vietnam

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Google and Facebook may have to open offices in Viet Nam to provide their services for locals.

Under a draft decree announced by the Ministry of Information and Communication, foreign businesses providing cross-border public information for a majority of users in Viet Nam will have to establish representative offices in the country.

Under the proposal, the businesses also would be required to make pledges in writing to cooperate with local authorities in removing information that the Vietnamese government says violates its laws.

Although the draft on managing the supply and use of Internet services and information is awaiting public feedback before being submitted to the government this June, many experts believe that the two giant suppliers of Internet services – Google and Facebook – will be among targeted businesses.

According to statistics from Google Southeast Asia, some 80 percent of Internet users in the region use its search service. This means that with the total of more than 30 million Internet users in Viet Nam, the number of Google users here can be more than 20 million.

Social Bakers, which provides statistics related to social networks, also showed that there were more than 3.5 million Facebook users in Viet Nam as of last month.

Meanwhile, ICT News quoted Luu Vu Hai, chief of the ministry’s Administration of Radio and Television – E-information, as saying that foreign businesses are only allowed to provide cross-border “Internet electronic games” for Vietnamese under contracts or through partnership with local licensed businesses.