While Uber and GrabTaxi are seeing rapid expansion in Viet Nam, traditional taxis are seeking to utilise modern technologies to help lower fees and improve connections with passengers.

At a conference on the corollary of Uber and GrabTaxi versus the traditional taxi last Thursday, a representative of the Ha Noi Transport Association said the new competitors presented many challenges for traditional taxi companies, who are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.

Representatives of Uber and GrabTaxi did not attend the conference.

Nguyen Anh Quan, the association's deputy president, said taxi operations that use GrabTaxi and Uber applications had not created new markets but, in fact, were eating into the existing market share of traditional taxis.

He wondered whether Uber and GrabTaxi were companies that provided solutions to connect passengers with taxi operators or whether they were directly involved in transporting passengers.

Quan proposed that clear regulations on the legality and use of Uber and GrabTaxi should be issued to ensure healthy competition among the concerned companies.

Pham Duy Kinh, a representative of VIC Taxi, said Uber and GrabTaxi often offered low fees that did not cover their costs in addition to offering promotions, making it difficult for traditional taxi operators to compete.

Meanwhile, traditional taxi companies said the application of information technology in transporting passengers was indispensable, producing benefits for both sides, but it must be regulated to ensure transparency and healthy competition.

Nguyen Xuan Thuy, Deputy Director of the transport department, said the Ministry of Transport was currently creating a protocol for the application of technology in transport services, and this is expected to tackle the existing problems in managing passenger transport.