Vietnam court suspends proceedings in case between Vinasun and Grab

A Vietnamese court on Wednesday suspended case proceedings in a dispute between local taxi firm Vinasun and ride-hailing major Grab, pending completion of information gathering from the Ministry of Transport and other competent authorities of Ho Chi Minh City.

In the latest statement, Grab Vietnam said it had already provided all necessary documents and evidence to the court while accusing Vinasun of not completing the supply of evidence yet.

“We note that at the last hearing, the court requested Vinasun to submit further evidence supporting its claims. The court confirmed today that Vinasun has yet to do so,” Jerry Lim, Country Head of Grab Vietnam, told DEALSTREETASIA in an interaction.

Vinasun, meanwhile, did not have any reaction when contacted by this portal over phone and email.

The traditional taxi firm earlier sued Grab, claiming the latter’s “illegal operations” had 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’s operations 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 had claimed.

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, meanwhile, termed Vinasun’s lawsuit against it ‘anti-competitive’. It claims 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.

Vietnam recently allowed Grab and Uber to extend a ride-hailing pilot programme until a new decree on business and conditions for the sector is issued and comes into effect. “This is a strong indication of the government’s recognition of the benefits that e-hailing has brought to the consumers, driver-partners, enterprises and economy of Vietnam,” Lim added.

However, this is not the first time Grab has been sued by traditional taxi firms. 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 competition laws. Hello Cabs had claimed that Grab had used confidential business-related information it provided without its consent.

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