Dozens of Uber drivers in Vietnam got together on Sunday outside the company’s office in Hanoi in one last show of solidarity before its planned shutdown the following day.
The drivers wore company uniforms, paraded along multiple streets in the Vietnamese capital, and took group photos during the emotional farewell.
Uber, which has sold its operations in Southeast Asia to rival Grab in return for 27.5 percent of Grab’s shares, shut down its ride-booking application in Vietnam at 12:00 am on Monday.
From April 9, all Uber rides in the country must be made via the Grab app, the company said in emails sent to users weeks earlier.
Bui Ngoc Linh, an Uber driver, smiles as she talks about the company on its last day of operation in Vietnam, April 8, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
“I’m obviously saddened by Uber’s exit from Vietnam, since it’s my part-time job,” said Bui Ngoc Linh, an Uber driver who took part in Sunday’s parade.
“I have no intention of joining Grab at the moment because I’m still so madly in love with Uber. I will give myself more time to think about it,” she added.
Nguyen Dinh Giang, one of the oldest participants in Sunday’s parade, said he had completed over 8,200 rides for Uber.
“I make more than VND12 million [US$530] a month from partnering with Uber, so of course I’m sad that it is closing soon,” Giang said.
“I will wait and see which of the remaining ride-hailing companies offers the same, or better, benefits before deciding on which one to join,” he added.
Two Grab drivers (wearing green uniforms) film the parade staged by Uber drivers in Hanoi on the last day of the company’s operation in Vietnam, April 8, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
“We’ve all been heartbroken since Uber made official announcements last month that it would exit Vietnam,” said Nguyen Anh Tuan, an Uber driver who joined Sunday’s parade.
VATO, an emerging player in Vietnam’s ride-booking market, has signed 5,000 new drivers over the past two weeks thanks to Uber’s exit, its CEO Tran Thanh Nam said.
Previously known as Vivu, VATO was rebranded to its current name after a whopping US$100 million investment from local passenger bus operator Phuong Trang.
Mai Linh, a leading taxicab operator that also runs its own app for hailing motorbike rides, would soon launch driver recruitment campaigns at universities in Vietnam to defend itself against Grab’s expansion.
“It’s a feeling of emptiness.”
Uber drivers join a parade in Hanoi on the last day of the company’s operation in Vietnam, April 8, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Uber drivers take a group photo outside the Thong Nhat Park in Hanoi after their parade on the last day of the company’s operation in Vietnam, April 8, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Source: Tuoi Tre News