Thu, Jun 13, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Vietnam tells firms not to advertise on YouTube

‘ANTI-STATE PROPAGANDA’:A government agency has identified 55,000 YouTube videos it said contained illegal and malicious content or breached local laws

Reuters, HANOI

Vietnam has asked companies not to advertise on videos hosted by Google’s YouTube that contain “anti-state propaganda,” state media said yesterday, as the Southeast Asian nation ramps up pressure on global technology giants.

Despite economic reforms and increasing openness to social change, the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam retains tight media censorship in the nation and does not tolerate dissent.

“Google was found to loosely manage its content, allowing users to buy ads directly from YouTube and Google without the involvement of domestic ad agents,” the Vietnam News Agency said, referring to an announcement on Friday last week by the Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communication.

The ministry listed several foreign companies, including Samsung Electronics Co, Huawei Technologies Co (華為), Yamaha Motors Corp and ride-sharing app Grab, which were found to have advertised on videos containing “illegal and malicious content,” it added.


The ministry has identified about 55,000 YouTube videos it deemed “harmful,” or in contravention of Vietnamese law, the agency said.

Of these, 8,000 were deleted at the request of Vietnamese authorities.

“In the near future, the authorities will ask YouTube to identify Vietnamese channels, and only certified ones will be considered for ad revenue sharing,” it added, without elaborating.

A controversial law on cybersecurity that took effect in January requires companies to set up offices in Vietnam and store data there.

Global technology firms and rights groups have pushed back against the law, and some company officials have privately expressed concern it could allow authorities to more easily seize customer data and expose Vietnamese employees to arrest.

In the months before introduction of the law, Facebook Inc increased curbs on content by more than 500 percent in Vietnam, the social media giant said last month.

In January, days after the new law took effect, Vietnam said Facebook had breached it by letting users post anti-government comments.


The ministry has asked businesses to “actively review” their advertising on social media, the news agency said.

“The ministry will work with the State Bank of Vietnam and relevant agencies to closely manage ad revenue flows on YouTube and Google,” it said.

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