GrabTaxi reiterates Vietnam-wide operations completely legal

By Anh Tu   June 27, 2018 | 09:45 pm PT
GrabTaxi reiterates Vietnam-wide operations completely legal
A man walks past a Grab office in Singapore March 26, 2018. Photo by Reuters/Edgar Su
Ride-hailing leader rejects Transport Ministry contention that GrabTaxi is only allowed to operate in five cities and provinces.

Ride-hailing firm Grab Vietnam insists that its GrabTaxi service is legally allowed to operate nationwide.

Grab Vietnam countered that GrabTaxi is an app for an e-commerce platform, so its operations would be in accordance with the government’s e-commerce laws.

Grab Vietnam made the statement after the Transport Ministry has recently shot down a GrabTaxi plan to extend its services to provinces like Ninh Thuan, Dong Thap and Gia Lai. The ride-hailing firm now is allowed to operate in the five cities and provinces of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang, Khanh Hoa and Quang Ninh. 

However, the firm said its GrabTaxi service is quite different from the GrabCar, which operates in the five above-mentioned provinces and cities, as a part of the ministry's pilot plan for tech-based transportation services. 

Both GrabTaxi and GrabCar operate under the same Grab application, but GrabTaxi offers a run-of-the mill taxi service, while GrabCar is a service which connects customers with private cars for ride-hailing purposes.

Therefore, GrabTaxi should be allowed to operate nationwide, stressed the firm.

This isn’t the first time the ride-hailing firm has clashed with the Transport Ministry. In January, when Grab Vietnam wanted to extend its GrabTaxi service to provinces like Thua Thien Hue, Ba Ria – Vung Tau and Lam Dong, the firm also released a similar statement.

Grab is currently under an investigation by Vietnamese authorities who say that its acquisition of Uber’s Southeast Asia operations shows signs of breaching local antitrust laws.

A Vietnam Competition Authority (VCA) investigation found that Grab’s market share in Vietnam had exceeded 50 percent after its ride-hailing rival Uber left the Southeast Asian market in April.

Under Vietnamese law, mergers and acquitions that result in a company gaining over 50 percent of the market share are restricted in Vietnam.

The investigation, which began on May 18, is estimated to take 180 days and can be extended for another 120 days.

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