Grab launched its GrabShare carpooling service in Vietnam just two months ago. It is already facing the prospect of a shutdown, with Vietnamese authorities claiming it contravenes local regulations.
According to the state-run Vietnam News Agency (VNA), the Hanoi People’s Committee – the executive branch of the city’s government – has ordered the suspension of carpooling activities involving licensed taxis, after receiving a request to do so from the country’s Ministry of Transport.
The directive affects GrabShare, which enables carpooling in both private vehicles and licensed cabs. The VNA report says that Grab is continuing its carpooling service despite being asked to suspend it.
Nguyen Thu An, Grab’s public relations manager for Vietnam, tells Tech in Asia the company is “actively working” with the Ministry of Transport to resolve any issues relating to GrabShare, and that it is “highly confident” that GrabShare will soon be officially approved by the Vietnamese government.
UberPool – Uber’s carpooling feature – is also mentioned as being potentially affected in the VNA report, though it is yet to be launched in Vietnam. Uber told us it therefore would not comment on the proposed ban.
GrabShare was initially launched in Singapore in December 2016. It has since expanded to Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Manila, and began its first Vietnamese service in Ho Chi Minh City in May this year. It launched in Hanoi the following month.
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