Setting Up a Data Center in Thailand: Key Legal and Practical Insights


Following a recent announcement by a leading global technology firm (Mircosoft) of its intention to establish an international data center in Thailand, the importance of understanding the regulatory landscape relating to data centers in Thailand has intensified. The  investment in question is expected to significantly enhance the prominence of AI and substantially boost Thailand’s GDP in question and development, aligning  with the government’s digital innovation initiatives.

A data center is a specialized facility that houses computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems. Data centers play a crucial role in the digital infrastructure of modern businesses and organizations, facilitating efficient data management and IT operations. They typically include redundant power supplies, data communications connections, and security devices.

This article discusses what regulations will likely apply in Thailand with respect to establishment and operation of data centers.

Legal Framework

  • Personal Data Protection Act B.E. 2562 (2019), as amended (PDPA)

Data maintained and processed at data centers may  include “personal data” of individuals and as such the key regulations and guideliness for the protection of such personal data in Thailand are the PDPA and the various regulations and guidelines issued by the Personal Data Protection Committee established under the PDPA.  These all pertain to the duties and responsibilities relating to the collection, processing (use) and disclosure or distribution of personal data (including the rights of individuals with respect to their personal data (referred to as “Data Subjects”))  issued by defined “data controllers”, “data processors”, “data protection officers” and others.

  • Electronic Transactions Act B.E. 2544 (2001), as amended (ETA).

Cloud computing services areregulated by the ETA and have been categorized by Announcements of the Electronic Transactions Committee into:

–  Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Includes essential computing resources like data storage and network systems, which allow users to efficiently use software without managing the underlying infrastructure.

–  Platform as a Service (PaaS): Offers computing platforms and databases which enable users to develop, run, and manage applications without having to deal with the complexity typically associated with building and maintaining the infrastructure

–  Software as a Service (SaaS): Involves providing software applications as a service, where users can configure and use software over the internet without involvement with its hardware.

  • Cloud Computing Guidelines B.E. 2562 (2019), as amended (CCG).

The CCG guidelines, issued by the Electronic Transactions Committee, recommend practices for cloud computing usage. The guidelines address IT safety, service efficiency, security measures, and data management, and establish a framework as to how data centers operate within the country.

  • AI Governance and AI Act (AI Act) (draft currently in progress).

With artificial intelligence (AI) integration on the rise, a draft AI Act is under development.  As data centers will integrate AI aspects, the AI Act when final will certainly apply to the  operation of data centers in Thailand.  The current draft of the AI Act focuses on AI system registrations, setting up AI testing centers, developing AI standards, and establishing a fund for AI-related damages, indicating a structured approach to AI regulations.

 Practical Considerations

 While specific AI-related licenses are not currently required, setting up a data center will also certainly involve securing general business operation licenses, building permits, and environmental approvals. As regulations evolve, particularly with the anticipated AI Act, data center operators must stay informed to align with new legal standards.


 The establishment of a data center in Thailand is exciting development , but requires navigating a complex regulatory environment. Compliance with existing guidelines and readiness for upcoming regulations are crucial for giving effect to Thailand’s digital transformation ambitions. Investors and operators must monitor developments to ensure their operations support Thailand’s goal of becoming a digital innovation leader.

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This update is written for general information only. It does not constitute advice, and consultation with professional advisors is recommended.