Grab terms Vietnamese taxi firm Vinasun’s lawsuit against it ‘anti-competitive’

Photo: Grab website

Terming allegations of unfair business practices by Vietnamese taxi firm Vinasun as baseless, ride-hailing major Grab said its rival was indulging in anti-competitive practices.

“Vinasun has resorted to anti-competitive tactics and legal action as a reaction to their declining market share,” Jerry Lim, Country Head of Grab Vietnam, told DEALSTREETASIA in an interaction, adding that Grab’s operations in Vietnam have always been compliant with current rules and regulations.

Vinasun has sued Grab, claiming its “illegal operations” caused its revenues to decline. The taxi firm is seeking a compensation of VND41.2 billion ($1.8 million) for the loss in profit it alleges it suffered due to Grab in 2016 and 2017.

Vinasun’s allegations against Grab include the latter running promotions for more than 90 days in a year, not permitted under the current laws, and not registering promotions with the Industry and Trade Department as mandated. “This has caused losses to Vietnamese taxi firms, including Vinasun,” Vinasun claimed.

The opening statements of a dispute between Vinasun and Grab were heard by the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City on February 6. According to the latest update, the trial has been suspended until next month because of lack of evidence.

The traditional taxi firm reported that its revenue has been declining year over year. It earned VND4.25 trillion ($187 million) in revenue and VND205 billion ($89.7 million) in net profit in 2017, down 10 and 34 percent respectively compared to 2016.

Grab has contended that it only provides a technology platform that connects drivers and customers which is in line with the market mechanism and the Vietnamese government’s move towards Industrial 4.0.

Last year, Grab was caught in a similar lawsuit in Myanmar where home-grown app-based ride-hailing brand Hello Cabs had sued it under the Competition law.

Hello Cabs had claimed that Grab had used confidential business-related information it provided without its consent.

Grab today is present in more than 178 cities in eight countries: Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar. It is one of the leaders in ride-hailing in Southeast Asia, an industry that is one of the fastest-growing internet services sectors and expected to be a $25 billion regional market by 2022.

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.