And government censors propose even more restrictions
September 2023 |
See article from vietnam-briefing.com
In July 2023, Vietnam's Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) issued a draft law to update the country's video game censorship laws currently defined by Decree 72. The MIC is taking feedback in a public consultation until September 15, 2023.
The current rules under Decree 72 are as follows: Foreign companies must establish an entity in Vietnam in accordance with the country's foreign investment legislation in order to provide video game services. Foreign ownership is also limited to
49% under Vietnam's current foreign investment regulations. This means that companies looking to legally distribute video games in Vietnam will be required to set up a joint venture or sign a business cooperation contract with a local company.
games are organized into the following categories:
Video games are also classified by age:
- G1 games: Video games that have interaction between multiple players via the server;
- G2 games: Video games that only have interaction between the players and the server (but no interaction between different players);
- G3 games: Video
games that have interaction between multiple players but no interaction between the players and the server; and
- G4 games: Video games that are downloaded from the internet without interaction between players or between players and the server.
The draft decree released in July 2023 will add an additional 16+ age category:
- 18 and up (denoted as 18+): Games with continuous protest and combat activities using weapons of a violent nature; no sexually explicit activities, sounds, images, language, or suggestions
- 12 and up (denoted as 12+): Games involving
resistance and combat activities with the use of weapons, but the weapon imagery is not displayed in close-up or clear detail; there is a moderate amount of sound and weaponry during combat; there are no activities, images, sounds, languages, dialogues,
default character imagery, explicit content, or scenes that draw attention to sensitive body parts.
- Players of all ages (denoted as 00+): Animated simulation games in which there are no weapon-based activities; there are no eerie sounds or
imagery, horror, or violence; there are no activities, sounds, languages, dialogues, default character imagery, explicit content, or scenes that draw attention to sensitive body parts on the human body.
In order for a company to provide G1 games, it must obtain a license to provide game services and receive approval for the game's contents from the MIC. To provide G2, G3, and G4 games, a company must obtain a certificate of registration and announce the
service provision for each video game.
- 16 and up (denoted as 16+): Games that involve protest and combat activities using weapons; no activity, imagery, sound, language, dialogue, sexually suggestive characters, or content that draws attention to sensitive body parts.
Companies must meet the following requirements to provide video game services in Vietnam:
- Be established in accordance with Vietnamese law and have a certificate of business registration for video game services;
- Have registered domain names for the services;
- Have sufficient financial and technical capacity,
organizational structure, and personnel suitable for the scale of operations; and
- Have measures in place to ensure information safety and security.
The validity of a video game license may vary depending on the request of the company but cannot exceed 10 years under the current Decree 72. However, this time limit has been reduced to five years in the draft decree. In addition, to provide G1
games, the service provision system of the company must also meet certain criteria:
- Being capable of storing and updating the personal information of players, including their full name, date of birth, permanent residence address, identity card/citizen identification card/passport number and its date and place of issue, and phone
number and email address.
- Having a payment control system for the video games located in Vietnam and connected to Vietnam's payment support service providers, ensuring accurate and sufficient updates and storage and allowing players to search
for detailed information on their payment accounts.
- Being able to manage players' playtime from 00:00 to 24:00 hours daily and ensure the total playtime of all G1 electronic games for players under the age of 18 does not exceed 180 minutes per
- Continuously display the player age classification for all games during the game's introduction, advertising materials, and during the game's service provision; and display the warning Playing for more than 180 minutes a day will badly
affect your health in prominent positions in games' forums or on players' computer screens during playtime.
The draft decree has lowered the daily limit for players under the age of 18 from 180 minutes to just 60, in line with the proposed reduction of the daily limit in the previous draft amendment to Decree 72. However, whereas this was initially only
proposed for G1 games, the draft decree stipulates the same requirement for G2, G3, and G4 games as well. Video games are subject to certain censorship laws, and companies must obtain approval from the MIC to ensure that their content is not
prohibited. Under Decree 72, the following content is prohibited:
The draft decree adds two articles regulating virtual items, units, and reward points and game cards. The draft decree stipulates that companies may only create virtual items, units, and reward points for the video games to be used in exchange for
virtual items within the scope of the game itself.
- Images or sounds that are horrifying, incite violence and brutality, are vulgar, erotic and obscene, immoral, contrary to traditional ethics and culture and national customs, or distort and undermine history; and
- Images or sounds that depict
suicide, use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, or terrorism, child maltreatment, abuse, and trafficking, or other harmful or illegal acts.
- Opposition to the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam;
- Undermining national security and
social order and safety;
- sabotage of national unity;
- conduct propaganda about wars and terrorism;
- sow hatred or division among ethnicities, races, and religions;
- Propagate and incite violence, obscenity, pornography,
crimes, social vices, and superstition;
- harm national traditions and customs; Disclose state secrets, military, economic, and diplomatic secrets, or other secrets protected by law;
- Provide information that distorts, slanders, or offends
the reputation of organizations or honor and dignity of individuals;
- Advertise, propagate, and trade in banned goods or services;
- spread banned newspaper articles, works of literature or art, and publications; and
other organizations and individuals and spread false and untruthful information that infringes upon the rights and lawful interests of other organizations and individuals.
Vietnam introduces a new film censorship process with 4 ratings available
See article from e.vnexpress.net
Vietnam has adopted a new film censorship regime that has age related categories including for the first time, an 18 adults only rating.
The new system commenced in 2017 and includes four categories: (P) general audiences and a series of age based
rankings C13, C16 and C18.
Officials will classify films based on levels of gore, profanity, violence, nudity and sex displayed, according to an announcement from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
The ministry said it will also
consider a film's drug-related content, which must suit a film's content or carry an anti-drug message.
Gratuitous drug-related content will continue to be censored. Censors will likewise permit sex and violence in C18 films so long as it is not
gratuitous in nature. However sex and violence, considered mainstream in most countries, in movies such as Fifty Shades Darker and John Wick 2 is obviously deemed gratuitous in Vietnam. Both films seem to have run into censor trouble.
General Audience films (rated category P) will not contain any horrific, violent or sexual content; they will not make any reference to drug use or production.
Last year, film censors in Vietnam proposed a controversial ban on sex scenes that lasted over five seconds in local films, and full-frontal female nudity. The rules were not officially included in the official rating system for 2017.
Vietnam's cinemas previously used just two ratings, G for general viewers and NC16 for viewers aged 16 and up.