Digital Platform regulation in Thailand
Draft of a Royal Decree on regulating Digital Platform (the “Draft Royal Decree”) was proposed as a subordinate law under the Electronic Transactions Act of Thailand B.E.2544 (2001) (“ETA”) which will be under the supervision of Electronic Transactions Commission. The main objective of this Draft Royal Decree is to regulate a platform consisting of at least Digital Platform Operator, Business Users and End User/ Consumers.
The term “Digital Platform Operator” has been defined as operator that provides a space for connections between Business Users and End User/ Consumers.
Digital Platform Operators under this Royal Decree include all of digital platforms having an intention to provide services to the End Users in Thailand regardless of the residency factor. It means that any foreign digital platform provides the service to End Users in Thailand will be subjected to the Draft Royal Decree as well.
The key role of the Digital Platform Operator is to inform the relevant authorities of its intent to do business in Thailand prior to the operation through electronic platform while the process will be announced by Electronic Transactions Commission. The required information in order to submit to the authorities will depend on the criteria and scale of each of digital platforms.
Whilst the foreign platform operators shall appoint their representatives to hold responsibility for their services in Thailand.
In addition, the Electronic Transactions Office will require the large scale of Digital Platform Operators to register its business in order to create the trust and confidence of the End Users.
The violation of this Draft Royal Decree will result in the prohibition of operations or withdrawal of business.
During the public hearing on 15 July 2021, there were the feedbacks arisen from the participants as follows:
- The main concern is that this Draft Royal Decree seems to overlap with other existing Thai laws since there are the specific laws directly governing the concerns under this Draft Royal Decree. The specific laws include Trade Competition Act, Personal Data Protection Act, and Consumer Protection Act:
- The board and ambiguous definition of the “Digital Platform Operators” under the Draft Royal Decree:
- Too much power given to the ETDA official in accordance with section 16 of Draft Royal Decree:
- Inequality between Thai digital platform operators and foreign digital platform operators:
- Burden of the digital platform operators to submit the required information without necessity to the ETDA as they are already required to submit the same set of information to other Thai governmental authorities:
- Unclear criteria on the scale of the digital platform business (i.e., large scale); and
- Severe punishment.
Legal Insight Vol. August 2021 of Bangkok Global Law
The PDF file can be downloaded via the link as set below.