VN needs proper legal framework to manage e-commerce on social networks


Viet Nam needs to develop a proper legal framework to manage e-commerce on social networks in the context that e-commerce was booming in the country, according to the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

Dau Anh Tuan, Head of the VCCI’s Legal Department, said at the VCCI’s conference about e-commerce on social media on Tuesday that the practice of using social media to market an e-commerce business was increasing in recent years.

However, the legal framework for e-commerce and social networks were mainly built in 2013, which proved to be outdated while e-commerce was developing very rapidly.

It was necessary to review and adjust the legal framework to better manage the development of e-commerce, Tuan said.

The VCCI’s report pointed out that the existing legal framework on e-commerce was applied for both social networks and e-commerce platforms, pointing out that the basic differences between these two forms had not been taken into account.

The VCCI recommended that e-commerce activities on social networks should be classified in accordance with their operation for better management.

Accordingly, normal social networks should be regulated by the Government’s Decree 72/2013/ND-CP about the management, provision and use of internet services and information.

Social networks which supported e-commerce business but did not allow ordering online should be managed through regulations on e-commerce at a simple level. Only social networks which allow ordering online should be managed like e-commerce platforms.

Nguyen Minh Duc from the VCCI’s Legal Department, said that social networks currently did not have functions for ordering online, thus, buyers and sellers must make contact directly to arrange orders.

He said that several social networks played a role as intermediaries, adding that social networks still had a mix of different contents, commercial and non-commercial.

Another matter of concern was the monitoring of content published on social networks, as the current regulations remained too general. In addition, social networks were facing difficulties in complying with regulations about developing automatic content monitoring tools.

VCCI said that it was important to develop clear regulations about content that must be censored or removed.

It was also necessary to verify the information of users on social networks with e-commerce business.

The verification of users’ information could depend on how much the social networks engaged in e-commerce. The information could include phone numbers, emails and bank accounts.

A transparent mechanism to manage taxes of individuals and organisations operating in e-commerce on social networks was also needed, especially cross-border e-commerce.

According to Vu Tu Thanh, Deputy Regional Managing Director and Vietnam Representative for the US-ASEAN Business Council, it was necessary to develop detailed and transparent regulations about the responsibilities and rights of relevant parties in e-commerce business.

To promote the development of e-commerce, the costs and risks must be reduced, Thanh said, stressing that this would be the way to encourage participation in e-commerce platforms which would contribute to economic growth in the future.

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