After Netflix’s heralded global expansion last week, those living in Vietnam have been able to access the streaming media website for the first time. But if you’re in the middle of binge-watching Making a Murderer, you might want to pull an all-nighter this evening, as the service may soon be banned in the country.
Much to the dismay of Netflix users, Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communication considers the service to be a pay TV provider despite the fact that it lives online, reports Tuoi Tre. As such, the company is breaching local law until it gets permission to operate in Vietnam, Huy Toan, head of the ministry’s inspectorate, told the press last Friday.
Getting the proper license would actually be the easy part of going legit, as the company would then have to open its catalog to Vietnamese censors.
“The movies must be legally copyrighted, while their contents must also be edited and approved by relevant Vietnamese press agencies to ensure appropriateness in terms of culture and philosophy,” said Toan, adding that if Netflix didn’t comply with local laws, it would be subject to penalties including “technical intervention”.
Given the inspectorate’s words, it may be best to wait on buying the service, which runs from VND180,000 – VND260,000.
Unlike Uber, another international web-based business that got off to a rocky start in Vietnam, an interruption in Netflix service would only affect a niche audience – English-speakers – since most content in its database lacks Vietnamese subtitles.
Article by Saigoneer.