According to the bars, they have been suspended for five months following a large-scale inspection on fire safety issues by local authorities which concluded that they failed to meet fire safety measures.
"The annual fire safety inspection has been carried out since 2017 and we all met the required regulations until the inspection conducted on October, 8, 2022," the letter said. "In the latest inspection last year, many of us were told we had failed and would be suspended. We don't understand why as there has been no announcement on the changes in fire safety regulations."
The bar owners argued that it was not fair to suspend them for so long when local authorities haven't issued instructions on how to fix their problems, especially as they have invested a lot in their businesses.
According to the bars, they invest between VND 300-500 million for each karaoke room, let alone the rent. So they're facing huge losses when thousands of karaoke rooms are being suspended.
"We faced lots of difficulties during the Covid-19 pandemic and had just resumed operation for a short time before facing this new suspension," they said.
Hanoi has around 1,500 karaoke parlors, bars and dance clubs and over 1,100 of them have been suspended following an inspection for fire safety measures by local authorities last October.
The inspection, which was requested by PM Pham Minh Chinh, came after a deadly fire at a karaoke parlor in Binh Duong Province killed 32 people last September, and over a month after three firefighters died trying to put out a fire at a karaoke parlor in Hanoi. Earlier in 2016, another karaoke fire in the capital city killed 13 people.