|Tran Manh Hung, partner at Baker McKenzie Vietnam |
These investments involve many traditional companies, such as the telecom giant Advanced Info Services or Thailand’s leading shoemaker Nanyang, and governmental policies such as the recently announced plan in Phuket by the minister of tourism and sports and minister of digital economy and society.
Thus, not being out of this trend, Vietnam is also pushing for developments in policy changes and businesses. Notably, in recent years the government has been hard at work pushing for comprehensive digital transformation for the country. Strong initiatives have laid out key milestones in achieving this goal, and by 2025, the government aims to migrate 100 per cent of its operations to the cyber environment and to increase the rate of enterprises using e-contracts to over 80 per cent.
Vietnam is also seeking to expand its infrastructure to prepare for the vast flow of information in the metaverse, as evidenced by the effort to engage domestic and foreign telecom enterprises as well as the expansion of cloud computing infrastructure and data centres by cloud service providers.
Other worthwhile movements include the Ministry of Information and Telecommunications (MIC) setting up a steering committee to promote the research and development of 6G mobile technology while the country is still in the phase of commercial testing for the 5G network. These technologies are expected to provide highly reliable, high speed, and low latency networks needed for the metaverse.
With such incentives from the Vietnamese government, local tech giants and startups are investing heavily in the virtual world. Recently, Viettel has taken its initial steps through its affiliate towards developing a metaverse platform by analysing the available 5G platform, business models, and technology trends. VinFast, the vehicle brand owned by Vingroup, has also launched a collection of non-fungible tokens as part of the reservation process to attract Vietnamese customers.
Earlier this year the Vietnam Blockchain Association, the country’s first entity in the crypto space, launched in Hanoi to allow blockchain experts to collaborate in promoting the development of Vietnam’s digital economy. Not long after its inception, the association announced cooperation with Binance on blockchain research and application in Vietnam.
Most importantly, comprehensive legislative reform is already taking place by amending and promulgating a large number of legal instruments.
Firstly, in June, the MIC released a draft law on e-transactions, which caught a lot of attention from tech businesses. The draft proposes new regulations and requirements for digital signatures, digital identities, and other topics.
As transactions in the metaverse, like online purchases, are made via cryptocurrency or by connecting a digital wallet to a bank account, it is very necessary to have advanced digital payment confirmation such as these.
The draft law provides a more comprehensive legal framework to regulate these issues. Thus, it is easy to see that the draft will significantly impact the metaverse in Vietnam once it comes into effect.
Secondly, several pieces of legislation regarding various aspects of the metaverse’s digital and virtual worlds, such as data privacy, cybersecurity, consumer protection, and intellectual property, are also on the way.
These upcoming regulations include draft decrees detailing the laws on cybersecurity and personal data protection; an amendment of Decree No.72/2013/ND-CP released in 2013 on the management, provision, and use of internet services and online information; and a draft amendment of the Law on Consumer Rights Protection, among others.
Furthermore, Vietnamese lawmakers are creating even more draft regulations in regard to technology, such as new drafts of the laws on telecommunication, digital technology industry, and radio frequency, all of which are expected to be considered in 2023.
Such prompt and comprehensive developments would bring a promising future for the metaverse in Vietnam. With multiple pieces of legislation underway, lawmakers, businesses, and lawyers will be very busy catching up with such a tight legislative agenda.