Uber exit threatens Grab monopoly in Southeast Asia

11:17 | 29/03/2018
On April 8, US-headquartered ride-hailing juggernaut Uber will officially transfer its operations in Vietnam and seven other ASEAN countries, including Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore to its long-time rival, Grab.
uber exit threatens grab monopoly in southeast asia
Nguyen Tuan Anh, CEO of Grab Vietnam, claimed that no business in the ride-sharing sector could offer discount programmes forever, which was among reasons customers grew fond of Uber

The acquisition between Grab and Uber raised quite a controvesy among riding service users, especially due to the threat of Grab monopolising the fast growing and highly profitable market in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam.

Ride-sharing giant Uber conceded defeat to Grab in eight markets in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Cambodia.

Nguyen Cong Hung, chairman of the Hanoi Taxi Association, stressed the high odds of Grab becoming the price-setter as well as having absolute power over the ride-hailing market.

Addressing concerns over the acquisition, Nguyen Tuan Anh, CEO of Grab Vietnam, claimed that, "Customers are naturally drawn to discounts and rewards, yet no business in the ride-sharing sector could offer discount programmes forever. Therefore, a business must do what every business needs to do in order to survive in the industry to remain sustainable and profitable in the long haul."

Along with the Vietnamese transportation market, the ride-sharing giant previously conceded defeat to Grab across regional markets, including Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Cambodia.

Uber sells Southeast Asia ops to Grab

Likewise, Uber's exit from Singapore will include passing on its Uber Eats application that it previously ran with Lazada to Grab. Accordingly, the food delivery services of Uber Eats will also be in the hands of Grab.

In 2016, Uber exit the fast-paced Chinese market to domestic rival Didi Chuxing, ending its $2-biillion competition which lasted for two years.

In 2017, the ride-hailing provider started its divestitures by ceding its operations in Russia and Denmark. Afterwards, Uber partnered with domestic e-commerce competitor Moscow-headquartered Yandex in a joint venture specialised in delivering Internet-related services and products.

By Thuy Lien

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