Vietnamese ride-hailing firm FastGo, at odds with authorities over its legal status, asserts it is going by the book.
According to the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), FastGo is not yet eligible to be approved for a pilot phase, nor is it registered as a tech platform.
In a written reply to the Da Nang Department of Transport’s proposal to permit FastGo to operate, the Ministry of Transport has said that the application falls under the category of “electronic contract service based – management support platform.”
But, the ministry adds, it is yet to receive a proposal to launch the app directly from FastGo Vietnam JSC, which means the application is not yet ready to be approved for a pilot phase.
The ministry has also requested the Da Nang Department of Transport to inform cab companies not to use FastGo if the app is offered to them. Furthermore, FastGo is not allowed to provide its services directly to taxi drivers, it says.
However, Nguyen Huu Tuat, the CEO of FastGo, is adamant that the app is not violating any law. He said that he has not received a written response the ministry or from the Da Nang Department of Transportation.
Tuat clarified that FastGo does not provide transport support management services to individual drivers in Da Nang. It only services drivers of local transport cooperatives.
“FastGo has filed the information and sent a request for approval for a pilot phase, but has not received a response from the Ministry of Transport,” said Tuat.
He said Fastgo is neither defined as a transport service provider nor is it a transport cooperative. It is merely an application connecting drivers with customers. Tuat said that he was waiting for new transport regulations on this issue, following which the company will determine the specific business category for registering its app.
FastGo has been functioning in Vietnam’s major cities since June. It is only after six months that regulators have backtracked and declared that its registration is incomplete.
According to a report on Nikkei Asian Review, the company as saying it hopes to make its service available in 20 cities in Vietnam and five other Southeast Asian markets, including the Philippines, Cambodia and Thailand, by the end of next year.
A representative of the Department of E-Commerce and Digital Economy under the Ministry of Industry and Trade said: “FastGo has not registered its tech platform with the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Therefore, it is unlawful for FastGo to engage with drivers or operate a transport management platform.”
In response to this comment, Tuat asserted that he has submitted this proposal, but is yet to receive a reply.
Launched in June 2018, FastGo now operates in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang with more than 30,000 drivers. At the end of August, the local company received funding from VinaCapital, and is planning to mobilize up to $50 million for a second expansion phase that will target Indonesia and Myanmar.
FastGo Vietnam Joint Stock Company was established in April 2018 with its headquarters in Hanoi. The company belongs to a wide network of services provided by Nextech, a leading tech firm in Vietnam.
By Edward Rupert on DigitalGlobalist.com