Individuals and businesses investing in e-commerce without proper licensing will be fined up to VND100 million (US$4,750) starting 2014.
A statement by the e-Commerce and Information Technology Department at the Ministry of Industry and Trade said that only 200 retail websites and more than 100 others providing e-commerce services have been registered out of the tens of thousands that are operative locally.
The department will launch a large probe into such websites starting Wednesday. Individuals found in violation will be fined VND10-50 million and businesses VND10-100 million. Their websites will be suspended for 6-12 months and their domain names revoked.
E-commerce has been clicking in Vietnam, which has one of the largest Internet communities in the region.
Figures from the department last October showed that more than 34 million of the country's 90 million people use the Internet, and 18 million shopped online this year, spending an average of US$150, or $2.7 billion in total.
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