Da Nang considers blocking Uber, Grab

By Nguyen Dong, Thi Ha   March 4, 2017 | 07:18 pm PT
Da Nang considers blocking Uber, Grab
Cars and motorcycles on a street in Da Nang City. Photo by VnExpress
The biggest city in central Vietnam is concerned that the ride hailing services will add to congestion.

Authorities in Da Nang are looking at a proposal to block access to car hailing mobile applications Uber and Grab due to traffic concerns.

In a proposal submitted to the city’s Department of Information and Communications, the Traffic Safety Committee said the unauthorized operations of Uber and Grab could worsen traffic in the city.  

The panel subsequently asked the department to have internet providers block access to the Uber and Grab applications. It also asked the police to investigate and punish any individual or organization found to be offering transport services illegally in the city. 

Nguyen Quang Thanh, director of the Department of Information and Communications, confirmed on Saturday that the proposal is under consideration. The department, however, needs more time to study the proposal before advising the city’s government on the final decision.

The latest move comes after Da Nang, on November 25, declined to run a pilot car hailing project by Grab. In a statement sent to the Ministry of Transport, Da Nang said Grab's presence in the city would cause a sharp rise in the number of private cars and taxis, worsening congestion.

The ministry had earlier that month asked Da Nang, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, the northern province of Quang Ninh and the central province of Khanh Hoa to allow Grab to launch trial runs.

Nguyen Tuan Anh, general manager of Grab Vietnam, told VnExpress the company hopes to meet with Da Nang officials to find the solution to address the city’s concerns.

Meanwhile, a representative from Uber said the company has not received any notice from Da Nang authorities, and that Uber is focusing on Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and does not have plans to expand to Da Nang yet.

Grab, a Malaysia-based company, is the only foreign-run transport service allowed to operate in five cities across Vietnam using registered private vehicles between 2016 and 2018.

Uber, however, has been singled out for providing ride-hailing services without legal permission.

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