Challenge to stop selling counterfeit goods on Facebook, Youtube and social networks in Vietnam (ASL LAW)

Challenge to stop selling counterfeit goods on Facebook, Youtube and social networks in Vietnam

Online counterfeiters use many measures to bypass state agencies, thus making it difficult to prevent counterfeiting from selling on Facebook, Youtube or social networking sites.

Recently, in Vietnam, the problem of commercial fraud is “booming” on e-commerce websites or social networks. This was also reflected in the meeting on anti-fraud and counterfeiting goods on online channel on August 23.

Trading fake, banned and smuggled goods on e-commerce sites, social networks (Facebook, Youtube …) which are popular and public that have seriously affected and threatened the society and beliefs and consumption.

According to the report of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, commercial websites have boomed in the past 7 years, from 763 websites in 2013 to 10,000 websites in 2016. The scale of e-commerce market also increased rapidly, from 5 billion USD in 2016, increased to 8 billion USD then 2 years. Currently, e-commerce accounts for about 5% of total retail sales.

Challenge to stop selling counterfeit goods on Facebook, Youtube and social networks in Vietnam (ASL LAW)
Challenge to stop selling counterfeit goods on Facebook, Youtube and social networks in Vietnam (ASL LAW)

Along with the increasing market size, commercial frauds and counterfeit goods business also exploded. By the end of 2018, the total number of violating products removed on e-commerce floors was 35,943 and more than 3,000 accounts on products were locked.

Sellers of smuggled goods and counterfeit goods on online channels often have measures to trick buyers. For example, when posting images on an online channel, they use genuine goods for buyers to trust. However, when delivery, it is fake goods, infringing goods on intellectual property. In addition, merchants often use one transaction address but gather goods at different locations or combine both as a place to trade goods, both as a place to live and to hide goods.

For example: There are online sales sites that are usually located in apartment buildings and want to get to the apartment to check, must have papers of competent authorities, hindering the inspection process of functional agencies when conducting pay or deal with infringements of intellectual property rights.

In addition, the inspection and handling of the alleged party must have specific violation signs and evidence, while 100% of online transactions usually do not have invoices and vouchers. The focal point for supplying contraband goods, therefore, is more difficult.

Although e-commerce channels have adopted policies and technical measures to detect counterfeit goods. However, counterfeit sellers also understand this and seek to overcome this technical barrier.

Another difficulty that authorities encounter when dealing with fake goods and infringing goods on intellectual property on e-commerce sites is that websites selling fake goods often buy domain names, hire hosts located outside Vietnam, or just fan page to run ads. Also, information of objects is also difficult to identify.

In addition to the above objective factors in handling counterfeit goods, counterfeit goods, intellectual property infringing goods on e-commerce site, a part of the reason comes from the capacity of the authorities. In this case, in particular, the technical capacity of the competent authority to deal with this problem is weak, and there is a lack of comprehensive measures to determine infringement behavior and to trace the origin of counterfeit goods.

To overcome a part of the above problem, experts believe that it is necessary to revise the legal regulations to bind the responsibility of the owners of e-commerce platform. These are issues that have been strictly regulated in the CPTPP and EVFTA agreements. So whether you like it or not, in the coming time, the trading platform will have to equip and upgrade the facilities to actively detect fake goods and infringing goods on intellectual property.

At the meeting on anti-fraud of origin and counterfeiting on the online channel, the Minister of Industry and Trade proposed to Lazada’s case as an example: “Lazada’s policy is not to check when receiving goods in violation consumers’ rights or not, so is it a support for rogue and fake products? Why do not the authorities consider and report specifically.”

In addition, regarding the online sales on Facebook, Youtube, Minister Tuan Anh proposed the units to actively work with the Ministry of Information & Communications, Ministry of Public Security and enterprises themselves, to best manage the management mechanism.

He noted the relevant agencies in the coming time: “The law with e-commerce here must ensure the management role associated with transaction access on the e-commerce platform, binding the responsibility of floor owners with transactions and payments.

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