Foreign Technology Firms in Vietnam: Tax Payments Highlight Growing Commercial Presence

Posted by Written by Vu Nguyen Hanh Reading Time: 7 minutes

We discuss the presence of leading technology (‘Big Tech’) firms in Vietnam who have become major taxpayers in the country, as they steadily expand commercial operations and tap into the rapidly growing digital economy. While key government incentives target science and technology innovation and development of digital infrastructure, foreign technology firms often face charges of non-compliance with local regulations. This, however, hasn’t deterred investments.

As of May 15, leading technology firms—Google, Meta (Facebook), Microsoft, TikTok, Netflix, and Apple (often clubbed together as ‘Big Tech’)are among 96 foreign providers who have collectively paid over VND 4 trillion (US$160 million) in taxes during the first five months of 2024, according to Vietnam’s General Department of Taxation (GDT). 

The 96 foreign providers have registered on the GDT’s electronic information portal to meet their tax obligations. Since the portal’s launch in March 2022, these enterprises have contributed VND 15.6 trillion (US$650 million) to Vietnam’s tax revenues.

The number of foreign businesses targeting Vietnam has grown significantly as global companies seek to tap dynamic Asian markets with their consumer capital and young workforce. Moreover, several firms are pursuing a China Plus One strategy, which aims to diversify investments beyond China. As of February 20, foreign direct investments (FDI) in Vietnam increased by 39 percent year-on-year, reaching nearly US$4.3 billion. This surge reflects growing confidence in Vietnam’s business environment and economic potential. Newly registered capital doubled to US$3.6 billion, with new projects up by 55 percent, highlighting a significant growth in newly registered capital ranging between US$400-600 million.

Big Tech are not outliers to this trend as large technology corporations from the US, South Korea, and Japan have shown interest in doing business in Vietnam and setting up in the country, tapping into the expanding digital services sector and investing in assembly and test manufacturing facilities.

Below we spotlight some of the Big Tech firms who are major taxpayers in Vietnam, reflecting their business success and market appeal in the country. The government is also keen to position Vietnam as a strategic destination for regional high-tech developments via policies. Nevertheless, in recent years, foreign providers like Netflix, Meta, and TikTok have come under government pressure to comply with Vietnam’s legal procedures and abide by personal information protection requirements.

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Big tech in Vietnam


Location: No representative office yet

Operation: While Google does not yet have an official operating team in Vietnam, its activities in the country remain dynamic. For example, Google, partnering with the Vietnam National Innovation Center (NIC) and the US Mission in Vietnam, launched the Google for Startups Accelerator in 2022—a three-month training program for startups concentrating on education, retail, agriculture, financial technologies (fintech), healthcare, and smart cities.

In October 2023, Google Cloud formed a strategic partnership with leading game developers in Vietnam, including VNGGames, Amanotes, and Wolffun Game, to optimize game capacity and performance using Google Cloud’s infrastructure, analytics, and AI capabilities. The cooperation is expected to elevate Vietnam’s game industry in the global market.

It is anticipated that Google will strengthen its engagements in Vietnam’s market amid rising speculation about the possible opening of a representative office—though nothing has been confirmed in this regard.  Despite no official announcement, Google’s recruitment listings in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are visible on LinkedIn.

Amazon – Amazon Global Selling

Location: Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)

Amazon entered Vietnam in 2019 and established Amazon Global Selling with representative offices in the country’s two biggest cities.

Operations: According to the 2023 Vietnam SMEs Empowerment Report published in January 2024, Vietnamese selling partners distributed more than 17 million products in Amazon’s store during the 12-month period ending on August 31, 2023. During the same period, the export value of Vietnamese partners selling on Amazon increased by 50 percent compared to the previous year.

The Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program enables sellers to access Amazon’s assistance with their orders’ storage, picking, packing, fulfillment, and customer service.

The top-performing product categories on Vietnam’s Amazon e-commerce platform are home, kitchen, health and personal care, apparel, and beauty.

Meta (parent company of Facebook)

Location: No representative office yet

Operations: While Meta has not established a representative office in Vietnam, it is an active contributor to the development of Vietnam’s digital economy. In early 2023, Rafael Frankle, Director of Public Policy for South East Asia and South Asia at Meta, discussed Meta’s support for Vietnam with local media:

  • Co-chairing the Digital Economy and Technology Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Vietnam.
  • Acting as a leading partner in the Digital Economy Taskforce between the US-ASEAN Business Council and the Vietnamese government.
  • Working closely with the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) on the national digital transformation strategy, contributing to the development of a digital economy and digital society by 2025.
  • Providing digital transformation training to 85,000 SMEs since 2017.
  • Establishing the “We Think Digital” program and training over 3,500 teachers in secondary and high schools and 580,000 students in 39 cities and provinces on digital skills and online safety since 2019.

Additionally, Meta began manufacturing metaverse equipment in 2019 but temporarily halted operations due to the pandemic. The company plans to resume production in the future.


Location: HCMC

Operation: Apple has been a major foreign investor in Vietnam since 2019, committing about US$16 billion through supply chains as of April 2024. The tech giant’s annual spending in the country more than doubled during this period.

Over 150,000 Vietnamese were employed in factories of Apple’s suppliers, such as Luxshare, Foxconn, Compal, and GoerTek, making the country the US tech giant’s most important manufacturing hub outside of China in recent years.

Apple has significantly expanded its operations in Vietnam, adding eight new partners and increasing the total number of vendors in the country to 35 as of 2024.


Location: Hanoi

Operation: Microsoft opened its representative office in Vietnam in 2006. Over the past nearly three decades, Microsoft Vietnam has been working closely with relevant departments, organizations, and businesses to assist in Vietnam’s digital transformation. The company’s focus spans four key business areas:

  • Modern workplace
  • Business applications – customer relationship management (CRM) software and enterprise resource planning (ERP) system
  • Infrastructure
  • Data and artificial intelligence (AI)

In mid-2023, Microsoft Vietnam signed a strategic partnership agreement with Viettel, Vietnam’s state-owned telecommunications operator, to develop and deploy cloud computing technology.


Location: Hanoi, HCMC

Operation: An 2023 investigation revealed that “TikTok Pte Ltd (TikTok Singapore) manages and provides cross-border services in Vietnam through the website and the TikTok app without the direct involvement of TikTok Technologies Vietnam Company Limited (TikTok Vietnam) and the representative office of TikTok Pte. Ltd in HCM City”, as reported by the Hanoi Times. The investigation targeted TikTok’s incompliance with regulations on content distribution in Vietnam.

Nevertheless, the massive reach of the social media app is undeniable in Vietnam. According to the ‘WeAreSocial Digital 2024’ report published in February 2024, 68 million people used TikTok in Vietnam in 2023, ranking the country fifth worldwide in terms of user numbers. This popularity  resulted in significant revenue from livestream-selling sessions on the platform, with some sessions generating millions of dollars.

During a trade promotion event in Hanoi in June this year, Nguyen Lam Thanh, the representative of TikTok Vietnam, explained that TikTok’s livestreams had an average of 5-20 million viewers. He noted that if just 1 percent of 10 million viewers made a purchase, there would be 100,000 orders, potentially generating VND100-200 billion (nearly US$4-8 million) in revenue.

The representative also shared with local media that as of November 2023, more than 2.8 million micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Vietnam were actively engaged in trading on TikTok.


Location: No representative office yet

Operation: Despite pressure from the Vietnamese government and talks of setting up a local representative office, this hasn’t happened yet. Netflix’s Vietnam operations are routinely subject to legal notices over content distribution and requirement of proper permits. Just in May, the US-based streaming giant was forced to remove 90 games for its Vietnam users.

Regardless of the government scrutiny, Netflix subscribers in Vietnam climbed 60 percent in 2020 alone, with GenZ and Millenials dominating subscriber growth. A year later, the streaming service constituted 16 percent of the streaming market share, ranking second after FPT Play at 23 percent, according to a Decision Lab report.

The growth prospects for Netflix in Vietnam is still high due to its overwhelming popularity over other competitors. For instance, in 2021, YouNet Media, after analyzing 3.11 million discussions related to video-on-demand (VOD) services, named Netflix the leader of the list with a proportion of 38.5 percent.

According to a survey conducted by Decision Lab in Vietnam during the fourth quarter of 2023, YouTube (parent company, Google) emerged as the leading app for movie streaming across all generations. However, among Generation Z, Netflix had the highest share of respondents streaming movies.

Vietnam – a strategic location for technology firms

The Vietnamese government is encouraging investments in high-quality data centers from local and foreign enterprises as it implements the development strategy for a digital economy and nation.

Data center market

Prospects in Vietnam’s data center and cloud market look bright. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Busan (South Korea), and Taipei have been identified as top emerging markets in a Cushman & Wakefield’s Asia-Pacific Data Center Report. Regional data center hubs are spreading across the Asia-Pacific as operators actively seek new locations to tap into high demand from digital firms and AI-led innovation.

The data center market in Vietnam is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.68 percent from 2022 to 2028, reaching US$1.037 trillion. Meanwhile, the MIC projects that the country’s cloud market will expand to US$1.24 trillion by 2027 at a CAGR of 17.9 percent.

Participants in Vietnam’s data center market are diverse

Foreign tech companies dominate Vietnam’s data center market, with Amazon Web Services (AWS) capturing the largest market share at 33 percent, followed by Google (21 percent) and Microsoft (21 percent). Other foreign providers include Alibaba, Digital Ocean, and Vultr.

Domestic firms only accounted for 21 percent of the data center market share—Viettel, FPT, CMC, VNPT, VC Corp, among others.
Vietnam’s government believes that the introduction of Government Decree 53 on data localization for foreign enterprises and domestic technology companies is the reason for the increase in investments on data centers.

Ongoing efforts to accommodate tech firms

In 2019, Vietnam’s government promulgated Decree No. 13/2019/ND-CP on science and technology enterprises, with new measures incentivizing high-tech investment in the country. Those measures included remission of land rental, exemptions on and reduction of corporate income tax payable, and preferential credit terms.

Ongoing efforts by Vietnamese authorities to facilitate the entry and operations of tech firms should be monitored closely by companies seeking valuable insights for their decision-making processes. Some recent developments are listed below:

  • Effective from March 25, 2024, Decree 10/2024/ND-CP aims to streamline processes and increase support for investors of high-tech parks and high-tech business activities in Vietnam.
  • The National Assembly approved the new Land Law in early 2024, incorporating a range of measures to facilitate and promote investment in the real estate sector.
  • Vietnam aims to create 100,000 highly skilled workers, including 50,000 semiconductor engineers, to capitalize on investments in the sector. The Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Ministry of Education and Training are cooperating to submit the plan to the government.
  • Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has instructed relevant ministries and sectors to study and propose solutions to attract and retain tech giants.
  • According to the government’s strategy, Vietnam targets to become a semiconductor technology hub (design, packaging, and testing) by 2030.


The significant presence of foreign technology firms and digital service providers, including the Big Tech firms, is facilitating the dynamic growth of Vietnam’s digital economy. Entering Vietnam means technology enterprises have access to rapidly evolving digital markets in the Asia-Pacific region, besides being able to capitalize on various incentives to expand targeted investments in their business focus areas.

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