New decree on e-commerce — for a deeper and stronger regulation of e-commerce in Vietnam

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In line with the trend worldwide, e-commerce has seen tremendous growth in Vietnam in recent years, boosted by a high rate of mobile and internet penetration in the country and its young and tech-savvy population.

To establish a more mature legal framework for online shoppers and e-businesses, newly issued Decree 52/2013/ND-CP dated 16 May 2013 on e-commerce (Decree 52) recently came into effect on 1 July 2013. Decree 52 comes as a replacement for Decree 57/2006/ND-CP (Decree 57), which was issued in 2006. Although that very first regulation did deal with limited aspects of online transactions, it did not include much detail on online transactions and responsibilities of website operators in electronic commerce.

The need for stronger regulation was recently even more accentuated when a number of fraudulent e-commerce practices and internet scams that included sales of illegitimate vouchers and coupons through group coupon sites and virtual multi-level selling rallied Vietnamese online shoppers and regulators. It soon became obvious that the former Decree 57 had left loopholes disadvantaging consumers and leaving disputes unable to be solved…

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