Published: Thu, March 29, 2018
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

Uber Is Giving Up on Southeast Asia

Uber Is Giving Up on Southeast Asia

Ride-hailing firm Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] has agreed to sell its Southeast Asian business to bigger regional rival Grab, sources with knowledge of the matter said on Sunday, in what would be the US company's second retreat from Asia.

Uber and Grab, together with two other SoftBank-backed ride-hailing firms - India's Ola and China's Didi Chuxing - provide about 45 million rides a day, according to SoftBank presentation material in February. Uber's local representatives there have repeatedly insisted that, despite SoftBank's favored strategy, the company isn't pulling out of that continent. He did not want to be identified as the deal is not public yet.

Transport network company Grab has confirmed that they have acquired Uber's operations in the Southeast Asia, including the Philippines. "We're excited to take this step with Anthony and his entire team at Grab, and look forward to Grab's future in Southeast Asia", said Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber. Softbank is one of the main investors of the Uber rival Grab.

Why Grab? Why not Uber?

It's official: Uber has sold all of their Asia-Pacific assets to its prime competitor in the region, Grab. Financial details were not revealed. Until then, you can still use Uber Eats or call a auto or drive using the Uber app, but these are the grace periods for you to make the move to Grab. Grab, which has more than 86 million mobile app downloads, now offers services in more than 190 cities across Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia. With the combined business, Grab is aiming to be the leading online-to-offline (O2O) mobile platform in Southeast Asia, as well as a major player in food delivery. Keep in mind that any data that you've previously shared with Uber (excluding payment information) will be transferred to Grab but will not be visible in the Grab app. The merging of Uber Eats will further give Grab an advantage over Go-Jek, which also has a vast range of services apart from ride hailing. Preparation has been hard after the group lost $4.5 billion in 2017 as well as face high levels of competition in Asia and face a regulatory crackdown in Europe.

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