Netflix insisted Wednesday it used to be prepared to pay tax in Vietnam after a government minister accused the streaming giant of dodging its obligations to the communist nation.
The information minister this week singled out Netflix and newcomer Apple TV for not paying tax, saying foreign platforms earn an estimated $44 million (kind of Rs. 300 crores) a year in revenues from a skyrocketing subscriber base across Vietnam.
“Some cross-border platforms have neither paid taxes nor operated in accordance with the laws, creating unfair competition,” Nguyen Manh Hung told Vietnam’s national meeting Tuesday.
But a Netflix spokesperson told AFP the company complies with applicable Vietnamese laws and is in talks with authorities on the issue.
“We are supportive of the implementation of a mechanism that will make it conceivable for foreign service providers like Netflix to gather and remit taxes in Vietnam,” they said in a remark.
“On the other hand today one of these mechanism does not exist.”
The streaming juggernaut’s entry into Southeast Asia has had a major have an effect on on viewing habits.
The massive popularity of the service has pushed Netflix to invest in in the neighborhood produced shows and films, such as Vietnamese martial arts film “Furie”.
The minister’s criticism against Netflix also focused on its satisfied.
Hung said some of its shows feature “violence, use of drugs, and pornography,” violating censorship laws that govern Vietnam’s tightly controlled movie industry.
He also specifically singled out a Vietnam War documentary for its “improper reflection of history”.
One after the other, in 2017 Netflix removed the Stanley Kubrick classic Full Metal Jacket from its catalogue after a request from the government.
Vietnam is hoping to build a repute as a Southeast Asian hub for fintech, but is hampered by draconian laws governing media and digital spaces.
Netflix’s run-in with the Vietnamese authorities comes amid growing concern in countries around the globe approximately taxes paid, or not, by US tech giants.
Amazon, Google, and Facebook have all come under fire for paying seemingly negligible tax on immense revenues.
Earlier this month, Spain said it is preparing legislation that would impose a five percent tax on platforms such Netflix, with the aim of the usage of the funds to spice up domestic movie production.
Apple has not yet responded to a request for remark.
Which is the most productive TV under Rs. 25,000? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you’ll be able to subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.