If you read the tech press, you might have seen reports that Uber is pursuing a sale in Southeast Asia that would see Grab, its Singapore-headquartered rival valued at $6 billion, acquire Uber’s business in the region.
Rumors of such a tie-in have been rife for a while. Uber sold its China business in exactly such an arrangement in 2016, and it made a similar exit from Russia last year. In both cases, the firm’s motivation was to purportedly shape up for a potential IPO by offloading loss-making units that had lost the local market.
Why not, then, extend that into Southeast Asia and sell to Grab?
There is competition.
Reliable data is hard to come by, but it is fairly widely accepted that Uber, once the leader in Southeast Asia, has dropped behind Grab across the region as a…