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Grab Reports Over 60 Drivers Assaulted by Traditional Xe Ôms

In a sign of just how cut-throat competition in the xe ôm industry has become, several dozen GrabBike drivers in Saigon have reported being attacked by their conventional counterparts in recent months.

Tuoi Tre reports that Grab Vietnam, the local affiliate of the Singaporean ride-hailing service, has contacted local police regarding 65 assaults on Grab drivers by xe ôm drivers this year.

Many of these attacks – 18, to be exact – took place at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, while 15 more occurred at Hoc Mon District's An Suong Bus Station. Others were carried out around Cong Quynh and Pham Ngu Lao Streets, along with Le Hong Phong Street in District 5.

Grab officials believe traditional xe ôm have lashed out at Grab drivers as a result of business; the latter group now gets more customers thanks to cheap fares and a convenient app interface. There are over 20,000 app-based xe ôm in Saigon, according to Tuoi Tre, mainly working for Grab and Uber.

While some have resorted to violence in response to this increased competition, other traditional drivers have established groups and unions in order to improve their professionalism and service. Still, Saigon's old-school xe ôm drivers face an uncertain future, as their earnings have dropped significantly since Grab and Uber came on the scene.

In an earlier story, Tuoi Tre quoted Minh, a 62-year-old xe ôin Binh Thanh District, who said that he earned over VND100,000 per day before ride-hailing apps arrived. "Now with these new apps, I've only gathered VND10,000 this entire morning," he shared with the news source.

Grab has asked local authorities to monitor the situation moving forward.

[Photo via Thanh Nien]

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