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Establishment restrictions

VIETNAM

Since December 2008

Chapter Investment  |  Sub-chapter Restrictions on ownership
Arts. 8 (2) (b) and 9 of the Decree 121/2008/ND-CP

Decree No.25/2011/ND-CP
According to Art. 8 and Art. 9 of the Decree 121/2008/ND-CP, a condition to entry in the telecom market (with or without network) in Vietnam is to form a joint venture. Art. 4 of Decree 25/2011ND-CP regulates the procedure. For the case of telecom services without network, the requirement was supposed to be valid only within the first three years after Vietnam's accession to the WTO.
Coverage Telecommunication sector
Sources
Establishment restrictions

VIETNAM

SInce November 2009

Chapter Investment  |  Sub-chapter Restrictions on ownership
Art. 17 of the Law on Telecommunications
The State holds dominant shares (51%) in telecommunication service providers with network infrastructure which are particularly important to the operation of the entire national telecommunications infrastructure. Therefore, foreign investors can only own 49% of shares in government controlled firms.
Coverage Telecommunication sector
Establishment restrictions

VIETNAM

Since December 2008

Chapter Investment  |  Sub-chapter Restrictions on ownership
Decree 121/2008/ND-CP
Decree 121/2008/ND-CP establishes caps on foreign equity. According to the WTO Trade Policy Review on Vietnam, the equity caps applicable to foreign investment in both fixed and mobile communications as well as virtual private networks are set at 49% in facilities-based services (i.e. infrastructure) and 70% (since 2010) only if they have passed the initial three-year investing period in Vietnam in non-facilities-based services (i.e. telephony services with no network infrastructure).

Additionally, for mobile telecommunication services, the following limitation applies: if an enterprise or individual owns more than 20% of the charter capital or shares in a telecommunications enterprise, it is not allowed to own concurrently more than 20% of the charter capital or shares in another enterprise in the same telecommunications market.
Coverage Telecommunication sector
Sources
Fiscal Restrictions

VIETNAM

Since 2012

Chapter Public Procurement  |  Sub-chapter Preferential purchase schemes covering digital products and services
WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)
Vietnam is currently only an observer to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement.
Coverage All sectors
Fiscal Restrictions

VIETNAM

Since April 2010
Since July 2014

Chapter Public Procurement  |  Sub-chapter Preferential purchase schemes covering digital products and services
Directive No. 494/CT-TTg

Law No. 43/2013/QH13 on Tendering (Law 43)
The local preference directive for government procurement (Directive No. 494/CT-TTg) restricts bidding by foreign firms on government-issued procurement tenders to those cases where domestic bidders cannot provide the necessary services or supplies.

Vietnam’s Law No. 43/2013/QH13 on Tendering (Law 43) came into force in July 2014 and continues to give preferences to domestic suppliers of goods and services as well as domestically made goods. Accordingly, foreign suppliers/contractors are only selected when domestic companies cannot provide goods/services or when financing agreements between the government of Vietnam and donors require international biddings.

Some concessions have been offered within the recent EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
Coverage Horizontal
Sources
Fiscal Restrictions

VIETNAM

ITA signatory? I II

Chapter Tariffs and Trade Defence  |  Sub-chapter Applied tariffs on digital goods
Average MFN rate
4.01%
Weighted average MFN rate
1.62%
Maximum tariff rate
35.00%
Coverage rate of zero-tariffs
64.58%

Coverage: Digital goods
Sources

Trading restrictions

CHINA

Reported in March 2018

Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Barriers to fulfillment
De minimis rule
According to China's de minimis rule shipments with a duty and VAT liability of less than 6 SDR / RMB 50 / 8 USD are exempted from taxes and duties collected by customs.
Coverage Horizontal
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Reported in February 2018

Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Barriers to fulfillment
Ban on cryptocurrency exchanges
A Chinese campaign against Cryptocurrency which began with the shutting down of domestic exchanges culminated with a ban on foreign ones, which effectively bans the use of cryptocurrency in China.
Coverage Cryptocurrency
Trading restrictions

CHINA

WTO dispute from 2012

Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Barriers to fulfillment
De facto monopoly on e-payment services (EPSI in RMB for China Union Pay (CUP)
In 2012, there has been a WTO dispute about China’s rules governing access to its domestic electronic-payments market which do not provide equal treatment to foreign credit-card and debit-card issuers. China said at the time it would assess the decision, but it has been slow to change its market-access rules in response.

Currently, China UnionPay Co. has a near monopoly on processing and clearing yuan-denominated payments made via bank cards and credit cards. The state-controlled firm has close ties to China’s central bank. China’s central bank has at times moved against the upstarts in ways that seem to benefit UnionPay. For example, in 2014 it ordered the suspension of online payments using QR codes and virtual credit cards in smartphone-payment systems, two payment methods being pioneered domestically by Alibaba and Tencent.
Coverage Payment services
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Since May 2017

Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Barriers to fulfillment
Provisions on the Management of Internet News Services
The Provisions on the Management of Internet News Services require each internet news provider to obtain a permit for Internet News Information Services before providing any of the services stated above. The applicant’s person-in-charge or chief editor must be a Chinese citizen.

These provisions also broadened the definition of “internet news information services” to “services of collecting, editing, and releasing internet news information; reposting such news information; and providing a platform to spread such news information.” They also broaden the definition of “news information” to includes relevant reports and commentaries on politics, the economy, military affairs, foreign affairs, and other public affairs, as well as relevant reports and commentaries on social emergencies.
Coverage Internet news providers
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Since November 2016
Entry into force in June 2017

Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Barriers to fulfillment
Cybersecurity Law
Under the provisions of the Cybersecurity Law, and as part of a social media crackdown on websites that disseminate "vulgar content" and which "negatively impact society", China's media oversight body, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, ordered three major online companies (Weibo, iFeng, and ACFUN) to halt some of their multi-media streaming services, citing that they lacked adequate permits and that the sites hosted "many politically-related programs that do not conform with state rules".
Coverage Streaming services
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Since June 2017

Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Barriers to fulfillment
Regulations on Administration of Internet News Information Service

Regulations on Administrative Enforcement Procedures for Internet Information Content
All private news services are required to be managed by party-sanctioned staff. All such platforms must have editorial staff who are approved by the national or local government internet and information offices, while their workers must get training and reporting credentials from the central government. The new rules apply to all political, economic, military, or diplomatic reports or opinion articles on blogs, websites, forums, search engines, instant messaging apps and all other platforms that select or edit news and information.
Coverage News providers
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Since September 2000

Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Barriers to fulfillment
Telecommunications Regulations of the People's Republic of China (中华人民共和国电信条例)
All domestic and foreign websites are required to apply for an Internet Content Provider (ICP) license to operate their website in China. This obligation applies both to domestic and foreign businesses. Without an ICP number, a website can be shut down by the hosting provider with no notice. Local establishment is also required.
Coverage Website providers
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Since February 2016
Entry into force in March 2016

Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Barriers to fulfillment
Administrative Regulations for Online Publishing Services (“Online Publishing Regulations”)
Strict guidelines for what can be published online and how the publisher should conduct business in China came into force in March 2016. According to the rules, a “Sino-foreign joint ventures, Sino-foreign cooperative ventures, and foreign business units shall not engage in online publishing services".

Moreover, any publisher of online content, including “texts, pictures, maps, games, animations, audios, and videos” will be required to store their “necessary technical equipment, related servers and storage devices” in China.

Any “online publication service units” needs to get prior approval from the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) if they want to cooperate on a project with any foreign company, joint venture, or individual.
Coverage "Online Publishing Services"
Trading restrictions

CHINA

Since April 2009
Entry into force in October 2009

Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Barriers to fulfillment
Postal Law
It is reported that the administrative licensing for express delivery services is non-transparent and burdensome. The operation permit for express delivery, which is required under the Postal Law and other regulations, is reported as a serious bottleneck which prevents competition. For example, since companies are required to apply to each city where there is a postal administration department, they need to go through at least 350 review and approval processes if they want to operate at the national level.

This represents a barrier for e-retailing companies which rely on a limited set of actors to deliver their products and are prevented from providing their own delivery services.
Coverage Express delivery services
Sources