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The Ministry of Finance has stated its desire to have foreign digital service providers such as Facebook and Google process payments through a Vietnam-based corporation.

In the latest effort by national leadership to assert stronger oversight on online activities in the country, Tuoi Tre reports that the ministry recently sent a note to the State Bank of Vietnam asking for coordination in ensuring that international sites run payments through the National Payment Corporation of Vietnam (NAPAS).

This would allow local tax authorities to better manage revenue generated through sites like Facebook, while also creating a legal framework for tax collection via digital means.

This comes a little over a week after the Ministry of Public Security introduced a draft bill that would require foreign tech companies to establish representative offices within Vietnam, while also building servers in the country to run their services.

According to the news source, the finance ministry is concerned that the majority of transactions between Vietnamese users and firms like Facebook and Google are conducted through a credit card or other digital method. These purchases are difficult for tax authorities to track and tax.

Under the proposed system, all payments to overseas internet companies would be made via the NAPAS payment gateway, while the above-mentioned representative offices would be required to work with local authorities in order to ensure their tax responsibilities are carried out fully.

In other digital finance news, VnExpress reports that Alibaba, the Chinese tech giant, has reached an agreement with NAPAS allowing Chinese tourists to pay for goods through Alipay.

Accordingly, anyone with a card issued by a NAPAS member bank in Vietnam will be able to use Alipay, Alibaba's online payment platform, to pay for goods.

NAPAS is an intermediary payment service provider licensed by the central bank to offer digital payment services through a network of 43 banks, including Vietcombank, Vietinbank and BIDV.

[Photo via Thanh Nien]

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