An Uber spokesperson once claimed that success in China meant being number on, but they have struggled to sustain a market share in Asia. Consequently, they had to sell their business to their rival Didi Chuxing last year after losing an estimated one billion dollars.
“We are very excited to launch ride-sharing technology in Cambodia to serve riders, driver-partners, and the city of Phnom Penh. This launch signifies our ongoing momentum across Southeast Asia,” said Uber’s Asia Pacific Chief Business Officer Brooks Entwistle.
On the other hand, Southeast Asia is primed to be taken over by Grab. The owner of Grab is Malaysian tycoon Anthony Tan, a man who has already covered the market share in seven major Asian cities, including Singapore, raising billions of dollars of investments from Japan’s Softbank and China’s Didi Chuxing.
Yee Wee Tang, head of Grab in Thailand, recently held meetings with the Transport Minister Sun Chanthol to confer licensing procedures. This was posted on the Ministry of Public Works and Transport Facebook page.
The Transport minister not only welcomed Grab into the Cambodian market, he also suggested the service “operates in strict accordance with the laws of the Kingdom” and advised the company to work with the ministry on licensing procedures.
The next step for Grab in Southeast Asia is to capture the market in Cambodia. The main concern about their launch is that they could be in a competition with international giant Uber and several other local platforms. Uber in Cambodia will be its 78th country, while it would be the eight for Grab.
“Grab hasn’t been launched in Cambodia yet, since we are still studying the market and asking for advice from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport about local regulations and compliance requirements,” said Nattianan Vanichchanant, Communications Manager at Grab.
“The Ministry of Public Works and Transport is committed to building a safe, reliable, and modern transport system. For that reason, MPWT has been working with Uber for six months to explore new shared mobility transport systems such as ride-sharing,” said H.E. Pheng Sovicheano, Secretary of State, Ministry of Public Works and Transport.