Four hundred and twenty-three deputies voted to approve the bill, accounting for 86.86 per cent of the those present at the assembly hall, while only 15 voted against it. Twenty-eight deputies abstained.
The law will go into effect on January 1, 2019.
The law requires all internet-related service providers, regardless of whether they are foreign or domestic companies, to open a representative office and maintain a customer database in servers based in Viet Nam in exchange for authorisation to operate legally in the country.
The Ministry of Public Security, which drafted the law, will have the jurisdiction to examine the information network of any organisation or company when a breach of national security or a threat to social order is detected.
According to a report on the law released by the National Assembly’s Standing Committee, it is feasible to require foreign providers like Google and Facebook to open a data centre in Viet Nam.
While it would increase business costs, the report said it was a “necessary regulation to meet Viet Nam’s cybersecurity demands.”
The report said the physical presence of foreign providers in the country would help improve services for Vietnamese customers and ensure the efficient resolution of any disruption to their services.
It would also allow authorities to easily oversee the business activities of those companies and to more effectively handle any breaches to cybersecurity.