On 19 June 2023, the Vietnam Authority of Telecommunications (“VNTA”) under the Ministry of Information Communication (“MIC”) held a workshop to collect relevant stakeholders’ comments on the management policies towards data center services (‘IDC‘), cloud computing services (‘Cloud‘), and OTT services in the Draft Law on Telecommunications (‘Draft Law’).

Below are some notable takeaways from the consultative meeting:

  • Different from the very first version of Draft Law (Oct 22 Version), which introduced broad requirements on the providers of data centers (‘DC’), cloud computing (‘Cloud’), and/or OTT services, at the workshop yesterday, the MIC confirmed that they are pursuing a soft management approach (“light-touch regulation”). In particular, the post-examination mechanism will be applied in regulating the provision of aforementioned services. The Ministry’s leader also said that the primary purpose of the Draft Law is to promote the development of the industry and create an official legal framework for unregulated services to better serve relevant stakeholders (investors, service providers, etc.).
  • Per the wording of the latest Draft Law (April Version submitted to the NA), though there are no pre-requisite business conditions for the said services, the Government is assigned to provide the details at the decree level. If so, we cannot discount the risk that the drafting team may re-introduce potential burdens against the businesses of DC, Cloud, and OTT services.
  • However, the Deputy Minister verbally confirmed that there would be no foreign ownership restrictions for investment in DC, Cloud, and/or OTT services in Vietnam since, currently, these services are regarded as not being under Vietnam’s WTO Commitments.

Listening to the stakeholders’ comments at the workshop, the MIC agreed to revise the Draft Law by excluding the DC and Cloud from the definition of telecom services. However, for the OTT service, it appears that the drafting team maintains its strong view by considering OTT as a telecom service.

According to the legislative agenda, the Draft Law will be tentatively passed in October / November 2023.


Manh-Hung Tran is the practice group leader of the Intellectual Property (IP) and Technology Practice Groups of Vietnam offices. For years, he has been constantly ranked as a leading IP lawyer by numerous researchers such as Chambers Global and Chambers Asia. He regularly writes articles concerning pressing legal issues in both English and Vietnamese, and his works have been published regularly in various reputable publications. He has assisted the government in reviewing and revising the IP Law, the IP provisions under the country’s criminal code, the draft e-Transaction Law, and the first draft Personal Data Protection Decree, etc. While Hung's practices run the full gamut of IP work, he also specializes in the Telecommunications, Media, and Technology (TMT) practice, advising multinational corporations on data privacy, monetization, product reviews, AdTech, regulatory and user rights, cybersecurity, e-commerce, offshore social media, digital services, data breach and incidents, and other emerging technologies. He has been assisting international film studios and streaming clients with various film and TV series productions in Vietnam.