Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport has approved ride-hailing firm Grab to run taxi services in three more provinces.
The approval comes after the Singapore-based firm’s expansion plans were blocked last year.
GrabTaxi has been cleared to operate in the central province of Thanh Hoa, the southern province of An Giang and the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong.
It currently functions in five localities – Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, the northern province of Quang Ninh and the central province of Khanh Hoa.
In June last year, the ministry had blocked GrabTaxi’s plan to extend its services to provinces like Ninh Thuan, Dong Thap and Gia Lai. Grab Vietnam had asserted then that GrabTaxi was an app for an e-commerce platform, so its operations would be in accordance with the government’s e-commerce laws.
The latest permission does not extend to GrabCar. Both GrabTaxi and GrabCar operate under the same Grab application, but GrabTaxi offers a run-of-the mill taxi service, while GrabCar is a service which connects customers with private cars.
Grab is the leading ride-hailing company in Vietnam. Last year, it acquired Uber in Southeast Asia in return for a 27.5 percent stake.