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LTFRB rejects Go-Jekâs bid to enter Philippine ridesharing market
A Go-Jek motorcycle taxi rider ferries passengers in Jakarta on May 24, 2018. Indonesian ride-hailing app Go-Jek said on May 24 it would expand into Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines as it takes on regional rival Grab in the fast-growing Southeast Asian market.
AFP/Bay Ismoyo

LTFRB rejects Go-Jek’s bid to enter Philippine ridesharing market

(Philstar.com) - January 9, 2019 - 5:52pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board reportedly rejected Go-Jek’s bid to expand into the Philippines, a major blow to the Indonesian ride-hailing app’s plan to take on regional rival Grab in the fast-growing Southeast Asian market.

Velox Technology Philippines Inc, a unit of Go-Jek, “did not meet the citizenship requirement and the application was not verified in accordance with our rules,” LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra was quoted as saying in a January 9 report by Reuters.

“If they want to appeal. That is their option,” Delgra added.

The Philippine Constitution bars foreigners from owning mass media companies and limits foreign ownership of certain industries to 40 percent.

Go-Jek operates a fleet of motorcycle taxis, private cars and other services -- from massage and house cleaning to grocery shopping and food delivery -- all available at smartphone users' fingertips.

Go-Jek has won financial backing from investors including Google, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund Temasek and Chinese internet giant Tencent.

In May last year, the company said it would expand into Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines. The move marks Go-Jek's first expansion outside Indonesia and comes after US-based Uber sold its struggling business in the region to Singapore's Grab, which remains the Philippines’ largest ride-hailing firm. — Ian Nicolas Cigaral with AFP

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