Regulators in Vietnam plan to conduct an inspection in the second quarter of this year to make sure that short-video platform TikTok follows the country’s laws on content management, taxes, payments, and commercial policies, VNExpress reported.
A representative from the country’s Ministry of Information and Communications was quoted as saying that the app has allowed “offensive” and “toxic content” in the country.
Since its debut in the country in 2019, the app now has nearly 50 million Vietnamese users – the second-largest TikTok audience in Southeast Asia, just behind Indonesia’s nearly 110 million users.
Besides short videos, the firm also operates TikTok Shop in Vietnam and reportedly tested an in-app gaming feature in the country last year.
In a statement to Tech in Asia, a representative from TikTok Vietnam said the upcoming inspection was routinely planned by the government to ensure that tech companies – not just TikTok – adhere to the country’s laws. “We welcome the opportunity to listen and address any concerns, as well as share the progress we’ve made in Vietnam in the past four years,” the person said.
TikTok said in its latest community guideline enforcement report that it removed more than 1.7 million videos in the Vietnamese market in Q4 2022.
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Shou Zi Chew, CEO of TikTok, appeared before US lawmakers last month as the app faces a potential ban on its largest global market.
At the hearing, Chew defended the app from its alleged ties to the Chinese government and outlined its commitment under Project Texas to have US data handled and controlled by a US-based company.
Update (April 6, 1:13 p.m. SGT): This article was updated to include a statement from TikTok Vietnam and TikTok’s internal data.