Philippines rejects GOJEK’s appeal against ride-hailing licence ban

Gojek driver helmets are seen during Go-Food festival in Jakarta, Indonesia, October 27, 2018. REUTERS/Beawiharta

Indonesian ride-hailing firm Go-Jek lost an appeal on Tuesday against the Philippines’ decision to refuse to grant it a licence due to its failure to meet local ownership criteria, in a major blow to its Southeast Asia expansion plans.

Go-Jek, whose backers include Alphabet Inc’s Google and Tencent Holdings Ltd, had hoped to take on Singapore-based Grab which is the dominant player in the Philippines ride-hailing sector.

The firm applied for a licence to operate in Manila in August through wholly owned subsidiary Velox but was denied in January, after ride-hailing was added to a list of industries where foreign ownership is limited to 40 percent.

“They filed a motion for reconsideration, but failed to fix Filipino ownership requirement,” Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra told Reuters.

A Go-Jek spokesman said the firm was disappointed and “will now explore our options”.

Several Philippine ride-hailing firms have started operations in the capital Manila and in major provinces over the past two years but have had limited success in eroding Grab’s domestic market share, which stands at over 90 percent.

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Reuters

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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.