Vietnam: New market access conditions for foreign investment in electronic game business applicable from 14 January 2024

neub9
By neub9
2 Min Read

In Summary

Currently, foreign service providers of online electronic games must establish local enterprises in Vietnam to offer their services, under the regulations of Vietnam. There are restrictions regarding foreign ownership in the gaming sector, but these are gradually being relaxed. The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) allows foreign investors from member countries to own up to 51% of the charter capital in game companies, and from 14 January 2024, Vietnam will impose no limitations on foreign equity for game companies with investors from CPTPP member countries.


  • From 14 January 2024, Vietnam shall impose no limitations on foreign equity for game companies with foreign investors from CPTPP member countries.
  • Clarity is needed on whether this means a complete elimination of the joint venture requirement.

Decree No. 72/2013/ND-CP states that foreign service providers of online electronic games must establish local enterprises in Vietnam, meaning that cross-border provision of online games is not allowed. Furthermore, foreign ownership ratio in game companies must adhere to international treaties to which Vietnam is a party.

Under Vietnam’s WTO Commitments, a local game company must be established as a joint venture with a Vietnamese partner, with foreign capital contribution not exceeding 49% of the charter capital of the joint venture. However, the CPTPP allows for more flexibility, with foreign ownership limitations set to be eliminated after five years from the date of entry into force for Vietnam, which was 14 January 2019.

While it is not yet clear if this will mean the complete elimination of the joint venture requirement, it is important to note that relevant licensing authorities have not yet issued official guidance on the application of these new market access conditions under the CPTPP.

The full Vietnamese text of Annex 1 of Vietnam’s CPTPP commitments can be found here.


1 The publication is available in Vietnamese on the Vietnam Free Trade Agreement Portal of the Government at this link.

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