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Politics

Vietnam drops taxi-style roof-sign requirement for ride-hailers

Latest proposal calls for operators to store data for at least 2 years

Phone numbers are seen on taxis on a street in Hanoi.   © Reuters

HANOI -- Following much pressure, Vietnam's Ministry of Transport has removed a controversial requirement that ride-hailing cars must carry roof-signs like taxi cabs in the latest draft of amended regulations for transport companies.

Accordingly, by the new proposal, ride-hailing cars only need to have a fixed reflective decal bearing the phrase "contracted car" on the right side of the car's windshield.

The proposal has also moved away from requiring ride-hailing companies to operate like traditional taxi firms.

However, they still face some strict requirements. For example ride-hailing companies will have to store the data of all transactions conducted on their platform for at least two years, ensuring customers' data privacy, and reporting information about all car drivers and transport companies using the ride-hailing platform to authorities.

The positive move from the Ministry of Transport has given providers of four-wheel ride-hailing service such as Grab some room to breathe.

However, traditional taxi firms have not given up resisting this change, as ride-hailing is seen as a threat to the taxi industry. According to local media reports the Hanoi Taxi Association has sent a letter to the Prime Minister protesting the new proposal and is calling for a direct dialogue with the Prime Minister on ride-hailing regulations.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc previously instructed the Ministry of Transport to remove unnecessary barriers that could potentially hinder the operations of ride-hailing services in the country to show that Vietnam welcomed innovative businesses. He also recently signed off on a decision approving a national project to advance the development of the sharing economy in Vietnam.

KrASIA is a digital media company focused on technology-driven businesses and trends across the Asia-Pacific region. It is under 36Kr, a tech news portal based in Beijing. Nikkei announced a partnership with 36Kr on May 22, 2019.

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