Uber has relented on Monday, its activities in South-East Asia to its competitor, regional Grab the term of an agreement marking a new withdrawal of the american society of services of vehicles with drivers (VTC) of an international market very competitive.
Grab grabs of the activities of transport and delivery of food of Uber in South East Asia, in exchange for a participation of 27.5% for the company, which is based in California, said Grab, a company founded by Malaysians and based in Singapore. This is for Uber for a new withdrawal of a market where the u.s. was subject to a strong competition, at a time when the new boss of the firm, Dara Khosrowshahi, seeks to stop losses and to overcome a series of scandals.
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After another fierce battle in Asia, Uber had disposed of in 2016 its operations in China to its rival Didi Chuxing, the main application of chinese booking of vehicles with a driver, also in exchange for participation. And last year, the company has merged its activities in Russia with the internet giant, Yandex. The agreement concluded with Grab — which operates in eight countries in South-East Asia and is known especially for his services to motorcycle taxi riders via app on smartphone — is similar to one signed with Didi and puts an end to years of bitter struggle for a share of the market in South-East Asia, a region which has approximately 650 million people and more middle and upper classes.
“Fewer choices” for customers
“The acquisition today marks the beginning of a new era,” said the boss of Grab, Anthony Tan. “The combined activities make it the leader in platform and cost control in the region,” he added.
Established in 2012, Grab a lot invested in its regional fleet and has currently about 2.1 million drivers in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia and the Philippines. Mr. Khosrowshabi, for his part, stressed the advantages for Uber: “This agreement is a testimony to the exceptional growth of Uber in Southeast Asia over the past five years. This will help us to put the overdrive in our growth plans,” added the boss of Uber, who will join the board of directors for Grab in the framework of the agreement. Grab has for many years been a dominant player on the market of the VTC in South-East Asia. Speculation of an agreement with Uber were intensified after the telecom giant japanese SoftBank Group entered the capital of the u.s. to the tune of 15% in February.
Softbank is also a major investor in Grab and has also invested in the indian Ola. The japanese is known for pushing the consolidation of the sector of services of vehicles with drivers in the region.
Analysts observe, however, that the agreement reached on Monday between Grab and Uber may result in a lack of competition that will result in an increase of the price of the races. “Industry consolidation means less choice for travellers, and the fares are likely to increase over time, to the extent that the players remaining are going to seek to improve their long-term profitability,” said Corrine Png, analyst in transportation research company Critical Perspective, based in Singapore.
(Source : AFP)