Turf war between Grab crew and motorbike taxis gets violent in Saigon

By Quoc Anh   June 16, 2017 | 11:47 am GMT+7

Gun shots, reportedly from the police, were heard during a fight in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday night.

Police in Ho Chi Minh City reportedly fired two gun shots late on Thursday night to clear a fight between ride-hailing app drivers and freelance competitors.

A video shared on Facebook showed noisy and chaotic scenes outside a major bus station in Binh Tan District. Two gun shots could be heard.

The Facebook user who posted the video said police fired the warning shots and arrested some people in the fight between a group of Grab drivers and motorbike taxi drivers, who are now usually referred to as “traditional” xe om drivers.

A police source confirmed the incident on Friday with VTCNews.

Malaysia-based Grab entered Vietnam in February 2014, several months before its main rival Uber. Both are operating car and motorbike taxi services.

Their market shares have not been disclosed but other service providers, from taxi companies to xe om drivers, have felt threatened.

VnExpress earlier this year interviewed motorcyle taxi drivers, who said they were being elbowed out by Uber and Grab on their own turf.

Some even predicted that these newcomers could eventually put the traditional drivers out of business.

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GrabBike drivers gather to confront a group of traditional xe om drivers in Hanoi on June 6 after the latter reportedly assaulted one of them. Photo by VnExpress

Early this month, many GrabBike drivers gathered to confront a group of traditional xe om drivers in Hanoi.

Social media have also shared several videos of drivers fighting one another with crash helmets.