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Netflix Will Be Removed From Smart TVs in Vietnam Over License, Tax Issues

The Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information under the Ministry of Information and Communications recently issued orders to four popular smart TV brands to remove Netflix access from their devices sold in Vietnam.

According to Phu Nu Online, the broadcast authority said there are three reasons that these smart TV providers have to disable access to the streaming platform: Netflix hasn’t completed procedures in order to obtain permission to host a subscription-based online service in Vietnam; the content available for streaming on the platform isn’t edited and translated in accordance with Vietnam’s laws; and Netflix hasn’t fulfilled their financial duty to Vietnam’s government.

Thus, the broadcast authority recommends that smart TV manufacturers should reexamine the legality of their devices providing access to Netflix in the country. The four affected smart TV providers, LG, Samsung, TCL and Sony, said that they would comply with the law and not include Netflix as a built-in feature in their products.

This does not mean smart TV owners won't be able to use Netflix, but it won't be included as a factory default. However, at least one smart TV brand told Phu Nu that the Netflix app in existing smart TVs could be removed via future software updates.

Back in August, Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung met Netflix Asia Pacific’s CEO Kuek Yu-Chuang in Hanoi. The streaming platform company expressed its commitment to obeying Vietnam’s laws and interests in signing a memorandum of understanding on buying rights of Vietnamese films to stream on the platform. Hung suggested that the company should not just buy rights to Vietnamese movies, but also invest in and partner with local film production companies to make films catered to Vietnamese and global audiences.

[Photo via TechCrunch]

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