Indonesian ride-hailing app revs up to join Vietnam’s transport market

By Phan Anh   May 18, 2018 | 01:27 am PT
Indonesian ride-hailing app revs up to join Vietnam’s transport market
A Gojek driver rides his motorcycle through a business district street in Jakarta, Indonesia in a file photo by Reuters.
Go-Jek will officially launch in Vietnam this July, the same time with Singapore-based ride-hailing app MVL.  

Indonesian ride-hailing app Go-Jek will officially launch in Vietnam this July, bringing more competition to the market currently dominated by Grab after it had acquired Uber’s Southeast Asia operations in March. 

Founded in 2010, the Indonesian transport startup has since raised over $1.5 billion from investors such as Google or China’s Tencent Holdings, as reported by Reuters.

Starting out as a phone-based motorbike ride-hailing app, Go-Jek is now a digital platform which offers transportation, logistics and delivery services.

To attract Vietnamese drivers, Go-Jek won’t initially charge drivers 20 percent commission fee and is offering free installation of its geographical positioning system. 

“This looks like an attractive offer, as I currently have to pay a commission fee of 28 percent for Grab,” Tuan, a Vietnamese Grab driver, told local newspaper Tuoi Tre.

Singapore-based blockchain-powered ride-hailing app MVL is also reported to be entering Vietnam’s market in July. 

MVL would not require its driver to pay any commission, but instead generate a profit through selling data generated from its daily operations to insurance and market survey companies, said its CEO Kay Woo during a conference in HCMC earlier this month.

Ever since Uber left the Vietnamese market last month, Grab has raised suspicions about creating a monopoly in Vietnam, now that one of its biggest rivals is gone.

An investigation conducted by Vietnamese authorities has said that the deal between Grab and Uber showed signs of breaching Vietnam’s antitrust laws, as reported by local media on Wednesday. 

Preliminary investigation results showed that Grab’s share in Vietnam exceeds 50 percent of Vietnamese market after acquiring Uber, which is a potential sign of violating Vietnam’s regulation on economic concentration.

Vietnam’s Competition and Consumer Protection Department is considering opening an official investigation into the deal.

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