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Vietnam reviews operation of Uber and Grab

Vietnam reviews operation of Uber and Grab

TUESDAY, April 18, 2017

VIETNAMESE Deputy Transport Minister Nguyen Hong Truong has asked the authorities in provinces where Uber and Grab are providing services to develop a comprehensive evaluation of the operation of the car-hailing services firms.

This is to implement appropriate measures for management of the companies’ operations, the minister said.
The number of vehicles providing passenger services on the Uber and Grab internet platforms was increasing rapidly while the legal framework was outdated, causing confusion in its management.
Truong said at the ministry’s conference to review the pilot project of applying technologies in connecting passenger transport on Thursday that the ministry was amending the Decree 86/N-CP dated on September 10, 2014, about car transport conditions. The pilot project has been under way for about a year.
Truong also asked provincial authorities to develop planning of vehicles to ensure an appropriate number on the road to prevent traffic congestion– a serious problem in major cities.
“We support the application of technologies in transportation but providers must be transparent in tax duties and ensure healthy competition,” Truong said.
According to Tran Bao Ngoc, director of the ministry’s Department of Transport, the pilot e-hailing service project has been implemented in three cities, including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Khanh Hoa from January 2016 with the participation of six companies with more than 13,500 vehicles.
Of them, three submitted their own projects to the ministry, including Grab and Uber.
Municipal transport departments said that the number of cars providing services via e-hailing platforms was growing rapidly and managing them was beyond their control.
Ha Huy Quang, deputy director of Hanoi Department of Transport, proposed a temporary halt on allowing additional firms to participate in the pilot project to ensure better evaluation.
“Managing Uber and Grab cars providing passenger transportation service was now out of our control,” Quang said.
Quang said foreign-run Uber and Grab registered to operate as car-hailing service platforms but they were operating like a taxi service provider while there was a shortage of management regulations.
Statistics showed that there were around 4,000 cars using Uber and Grab platforms in Hanoi and 22,000 in Ho Chi Minh City.
According to Nguyen Ngoc Giao, from the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport, approval for vehicles with fewer than nine seats to operate via e-hailing platforms should be temporarily halted to develop planning. In addition, these cars must carry logos for better management, Giao said.
The operation of Uber and Grab in Vietnam caused a crisis for traditional taxi firms who were calling for management of these platforms to be tightened to ensure fair competition.
Traditional taxi firms said that given the current regulations, they were unfairly treated.
Nguyen Van Thanh, president of the Vietnam Automobile Transportation Association, said that it was important to raise appropriate policies to manage operations of Uber and Grab in Vietnam.
A representative from Grab said that the company followed regulations on paying taxes and ensured that 80 per cent of cars on the road were occupied.