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Vietnam ministry to fine YouTube for breaching ad rules

Monday, February 27, 2017, 12:14 GMT+7
Vietnam ministry to fine YouTube for breaching ad rules
A picture illustration shows YouTube on a cellphone, in front of a YouTube copyright message.

Two Vietnamese ministries have discussed a plan to slap an administrative fine on YouTube, saying the world’s largest video-sharing platform has violated Vietnam’s advertising regulations.

YouTube has allowed advertisers in Vietnam to run commercial content on its platform without informing the relevant Vietnamese authorities as per local laws, the culture ministry said in a dispatch sent to its information counterpart on February 24.

According to a government decree, if cross-border online platforms want to launch ads and make a profit from business in Vietnam, they should first inform local authorities of the names and addresses of the Vietnamese advertisers.

The decree has been in place since 2013, the culture ministry said in its document, but Google-owned YouTube has never followed the rules, having displayed ads by various Vietnamese advertisers in videos shared on its platform.

The culture ministry will therefore look into the issue and levy an administrative fine on YouTube, it said.

The ministry also called on its information counterpart to review and compile a list of operators of cross-border websites with a Vietnamese office in order to contact them and inform them of the local rules.

In this matter the culture ministry was responding to a February 22 request from its information counterpart to look into the advertising activities of sites hosted overseas but generating profits from running ads in Vietnam.

The information ministry had also asked the culture watchdog to crack down on YouTube videos with any anti-state content.

The culture ministry replied in the February 24 document that this was the responsibility of the information ministry.

It is not immediately clear how the Vietnamese ministry will fine YouTube.

The video-sharing site’s Vietnamese operation is among those overseen by the Singapore-based Google Asia-Pacific Office.

YouTube allows anyone to place an ad in videos shared on its platform.

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