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Things are looking uber bad for Uber. The ride sharing app might have been one of the first big names to establish itself on the ride-sharing scene, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Uber is the best at what it does. Drivers have accused the company of unfair practices, while Uber’s leadership has undergone a few tumultuous shake-ups after a series of scandals and controversies surrounding its executives. While Uber is doing its best to settle these disputes and rebrand itself with new leadership at the helm, rumors have it that Uber could be selling a large portion of its business to a competitor due to finance trouble. Is this a case of a startup growing too quickly, or has the market simply caught up to Uber?
According to a new report by CNBC, Uber may sell the entirety of its Southeast Asia operations to one of its biggest competitors, Grab. Grab launched out of Singapore in 2012 and was immediately more popular than Uber in many Asian markets due to the fact that Grab accepted credit cards and sported a host of security features which Uber lacked. Some critics and observers say Uber failed to understand the Southeast Asia market before launching there.
Uber previously sold off its business operations in China after losing a similar market war with Chinese ride sharing app DiDi. Uber sold its Chinese operations to Didi for $1 billion, and Didi simply merged Uber’s business and drivers into its own division.
No details on the potential deal between Uber and Grab have been made public yet, and there’s always the chance it could fall through. Still, if Grab can hammer out a deal like Didi did, the app could see a huge boost in its Southeast Asian market share. But what’s to become of Uber? Can its soon-to-be-unleashed fleets of autonomous vehicles help the company turn things around before it’s too late?