Thailand has issued the Royal Decree on Digital Platforms, which was published in the Government Gazette on December 22, 2022. The royal decree provides a grace period of 240 days from its publication for digital platform providers to take the actions necessary to ensure compliance. The key requirements are outlined below.
After going through various amendments in its draft stages, the published royal decree’s definition of “digital platform” refers to the provision of an electronic intermediary platform that manages information to create connections between “merchants,” “consumers,” and “users” via a computer network in order to create electronic transactions—regardless of whether payment is actually made. However, this does not include digital platforms that offer goods or services of the digital platform operator or an affiliated company acting as its representative, regardless of whether the goods or services are offered to third parties or to affiliated companies.
Under the royal decree, a digital platform provider under the supervision of other authorities, such as the Bank of Thailand and the Securities and Exchange Commission, or falling under the Electronic Transactions Commission’s list of exempted digital platform providers is exempted from the requirement to notify the Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) of the operation of its digital platform. The commission may also exempt any other digital platform service as it sees fit.
Certain digital platforms located outside Thailand are subject to the royal decree and must appoint a coordinating person in Thailand. This requirement to appoint a local coordinator does not mean that overseas digital platforms have to establish their business in Thailand.
Digital Platform Certification Mark
The royal decree introduces an ETDA certification mark for digital platforms. Display of the mark appears not to be mandatory, but more specific rules, procedures, and other details will be prescribed at a later stage.
The royal decree authorizes the ETDA to request or collect information in relation to a digital platform from other state agencies, pursuant to the law or contractual terms.
Digital Platform Providers’ Obligations
The royal decree obligates certain types of digital platform providers (to be announced later by the ETDA) to notify their platform users of necessary information prior to or at the time of service, or upon any amendment to the information (such as altered terms and conditions), which may include the following:
- Conditions for provision, suspension, or cessation of service (including clear and fair fees, remuneration, and expenses);
- Criteria used to rank, recommend, or advertise goods or services;
- Satisfaction ratings and feedback from users;
- Access and usage of data shared with business operators on the digital platform;
- Inquiries, complaints, dispute settlement, and timeframe for dispute settlement;
- Responses to unlawful or sensitive content (including content rating practices); and
- Any other matters as deemed appropriate.
For more details about the royal decree’s regulatory requirements, please contact Nop Chitranukroh at [email protected], Gvavalin Mahakunkitchareon at [email protected], or Thammapas Chanpanich at [email protected].