Thailand to regulate digital platform service businesses


FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: People visit shopping center to celebrate New Year Eve during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Bangkok, Thailand December 31, 2020. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun/File Photo/File Photo

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's cabinet on Monday approved a draft decree to regulate digital platform service businesses to maintain financial and commercial stability and to prevent damage to the public, a government spokesman said.

Such businesses, both in and outside of Thailand, will need to notify the government before operating, spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said in a statement.

The law will apply to various digital platform services including online marketplaces, social commerce, food delivery, space sharing, ride/car sharing and online search engines, he said.

"They are all increasingly important to the economy and society, so there is a need to oversee them," Thanakorn said.

Last month, the government said it would start collecting value-added tax (VAT) from foreign technology companies including Facebook and Google, intermediaries such as ride-hailing app Grab and streaming services such as Netflix.

(Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat; Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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