The Technology, Media, and Telecom (TMT) sector has emerged as one of the most crucial factors of development for the 4th Industrial Revolution. TMT can be loosely defined as an industry grouping that includes companies focused on the development of new technologies. Since the TMT segment is extremely broad, it is often divided into subsectors, including hardware, semiconductors, software, media, and telecommunications. Its importance can be gauged by the fact that 23% of expenditure on research and development and over one third of total patent applications worldwide originate from the TMT sector. Vietnam is no exception to this trend and the industry has skyrocketed at an average pace of 31.1% between 2014-2019, reaching US$110 billion in revenue in 2019. Further, it accounted for VND 53 trillion (US$2.1 billion) of the state budget, over 14% of its GDP, and created more than one million jobs. With a young, educated and digitally-fluent workforce, Vietnam’s TMT sector is poised for rapid growth and some experts even forecast that the nation will become the “Silicon Valley” of the future.
Currently, the TMT sector in Vietnam is heavily dominated by foreign capital and corporations (aided by a recent exodus from China). Large global players, such as Foxconn (for Apple), Pegatron (for Microsoft and others), and Samsung have a large and growing manufacturing and research presence in the country. However, in recent years the domestic presence has also emerged, with companies such as Vingroup, FPT, and Viettel leading the way with investment in R&D at universities, AI, and 5G mobile networks in cooperation with the government. Following the 2020 announcement by the Vietnamese authorities of the “Made in Vietnam” strategy, the number of TMT businesses increased by 28%, reaching nearly 60,000 companies nationwide. While there remain complex legal regulations to navigate, the future holds great promise. In fact, in January, 2022, Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Science and Technology announced that municipal start-ups in the city attracted venture capital funds worth US$1.1 billion in 2021, primarily in information technology (with the city investing $700 million on scientific research and technology).
A stable government, society and legal system has existed in Vietnam for nearly 50 years. During that time, especially in recent decades, the TMT legal landscape has been steadily evolving and currently features a myriad of different laws, regulations and ministries, that apply differently to each sub-secto been the October 6, 2021 proposed amendment to the Law on Telecommunications. Submitted by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), the amendment will expand the scope of the law to include Infrastructure services, adjust market regulations to encourage the entry of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), establish a framework to accelerate the development of content services, amend telecom licensing regulations, and implement provisions concerning protection of consumer data. There have also been recent changes to the legal investment landscape of Vietnam, particularly the implementation (Decree 31) of the amended Law on Investment, which came into effect on January 1, 2021, making the process more open and transparent and encouraging the inflow of capital.
The Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) sectors in Vietnam are currently experiencing revolutionary changes, offering tremendous opportunities and presenting equally great challenges. Beyond the expanding competition and shifting regulatory climate, businesses need to adapt to relentless technological innovation and digitization of traditional industry sectors which frequently result in fundamental changes to ongoing markets. A trusted and experienced TMT legal advisor is an absolute necessity to navigate the pitfalls of the industry and focus on the creation and expansion of a successful business model.
Corporate Counsels’ technology, media & telecommunications practice consists of a team of attorneys with over a decade of experience in successfully handling technology transactions, M&A, data privacy and cybersecurity, manufacturing, intellectual property, finance, FinTech, antitrust, regulatory compliance, taxation and others. We are retained by a wide range of clients including start-ups and international technology, media and telecom companies, as well as users, financiers, manufacturers, insurers, investors and others in every field of law. Corporate Counsels also appreciates the fact that the TMT industry, and technology in particular, is now intersecting with numerous other industries (partly fuelled by the worldwide pandemic), and our lawyers are continuously adapting their experience to suit the activities of our various clients. Based on the experience of our diverse group of lawyers, our expertise in cross-border transactions, knowledge and understanding of cutting-edge technologies, and close collaboration with our clients, we are able to provide comprehensive and effective solutions tailored to each client on structured financings, privatizations and other capital-raising ventures.
Corporate Counsels provides a wide-range of services to our TMT clients including:
- Antitrust & competition law:
- Artificial intelligence;
- Banking, finance and securitization;
- Content licensing and distribution agreements;
- Content strategy in compliance with Vietnamese laws;
- Corporate structure and compliance;
- Data protection and privacy;
- E-Commerce and FinTech;
- Intellectual property;
- Market entry, joint ventures, and partnerships;
- Manufacturing advice and strategies;
- Mergers & Acquisitions (M&As) and IPOs;
- Over-the-top (OTT) media services;
- Real estate, leasing and industrial facilities;
- Taxation-corporate, transaction, and international;
- Telecommunications and infrastructure;